Saturday, November 04, 2006

When A Tree Falls Out of the Forest

I was on my way home from work this morning, after being rained out on the Sunshine Coast (a bit of Wet Coast irony), when traffic came to a sudden halt on Hwy 4, just west of Cathedral Grove (the big trees where everyone stops on their way to Tofino). A giant tree had just fallen on a car. This is the second time that this has happened in the recent past, but they only one I have personally witnessed. Not that I actually saw the tree fall, but through a series of events, I got to be somewhat involved with the action. We were about 20 cars back at the start, but calls for a chainsaw got us three cars from the front pretty close to the beginning of the 2 hour spectacle. We were unable to utilize the saw due to the size of the tree and the complexity of the task, but we were able to help out a bit by providing a hypo blanket. Helpful people in the crowd were able to extract the female passenger of the crushed Audi, and disable the horn, which was a blessed event as a constant blaring during a traumatizing event is not helpful. There even was a plan (an RCMP sanctioned plan) to use our truck to pull the car out, but this was nixed by the arrival of an actual tow truck.

The 2 hour spectacle took place in the pouring rain, but being at the front of the line made the time go by faster, as it gave you a sense of being more involved (or in our case, potentially involved). All manner of equipment and specialized local talent was employed to get the tree off the car. Port Alberni is one place where men have the Know How to cut down large trees. The driver was finally extracted (seriously, but not critically injured), and the tree was bucked up and pushed off the road.

My friend Mike even got interviewed by a video camera toting reporter for CH News (even after we explained that we didn’t see what happened).

Altogether, a weird morning on the way home.

This leads me to another tale. The weird morning on the way to work. This would be last Tuesday, a frosty clear morning. My phone rang ominously at 1:42 am (all phones ring ominously at that hour) and the voice on the other end informed me that this was, in fact, the Victoria Police. Even in my fuzzy state I comprehended the reason for the call, and I simply replied “You found the car”. The crack heads who stole it abandoned it after a short pursuit (never try to evade police cruisers in a 3 cylinder), the suspects fled the scene on foot and are still at large (evading police on foot is a given, considering the fat content of Tim Hortons doughnuts) .The Firefly is now impounded in an ICBC lot somewhere. All the stuff is gone, and according to Kira, there are lingering suspicious smells, but it runs, and my virgin is intact and will be returned.

Hopefully ICBC pays to fix it.

So that’s my update. Enjoy the rain, and watch for falling trees.




4 Comments:

Blogger Tim Rice said...

Sounds like quite an experience since you were at the front! Impressive picture.

4:18 AM  
Blogger Tai said...

First, I'm REALLY glad it wasn't you the tree fell on.

Second, I'm also very glad that the woman was not killed.

Third, the police called you at 1:42 in the MORNING!?! That's ridiculous.

Fourth, ICBC will do as little as possible for you. (But you probably already figured that out.)

Glad your virgin is intact!

8:59 PM  
Blogger Spider Girl said...

Looking at the picture of the crushed car, I'm trying to imagine how the driver was NOT killed. That's amazing. I'm glad.

And I'm glad the Virgin is back too. :)

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom died in a car that was crushed by a tree in Cathedral Grove. It was absolutely devastating. Something should be done about the fact that these trees are rotting and there is no structure set up to prevent them from falling on passers-by. This isn't something to be sensationalized.

1:03 PM  

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