Close call

Idlewild man survives tree falling on truck

IDLEWILD — Thoughts of a tree coming down on a person’s vehicle in the dead of night and when there is no wind is seldom a worry. For Harold Tewksbury, however, this was a reality when a tree branch smashed into his truck last Thursday.

Tewksbury, of Idlewild, was driving to work in the early morning hours of Thursday, Oct. 20. When he was a short distance from home, driving on 80th street between South Kings Highway and Broadway Street, a heavy branch from a dead oak tree smashed into his truck from above.

The main branch was almost16 inches round with branches as large as six to seven inches protruding from it. Two of these branches broke through the windshield. One missed impaling Tewksbury’s chest by mere inches, which would have been most likely fatal, said first-responder John Barnett, fire chief of Yates Township Fire Department.

The cab was crushed enough to hit his head, but not enough to hurt his neck. Tewksbury was temporarily pinned in the vehicle. When he gained composure from the initial shock of the accident, he called Barnett.

“The call came in at 4:25 a.m., and I arrived on scene at 4:29 a.m.,” said Barnett. “Just moments after my arrival a sheriff deputy, the Yates Fire Department, the Lake County Road Commission, the ambulance and a wrecker came on scene.”

Barnett said Tewksbury was able to crawl through the passenger door to escape the truck and the ambulance gave him a medical check-up.

“He got a pretty good smack on the head, and aside from being really shaken-up, he was alright,” Barnett said.

A Road commission crew used the wrecker to pull the tree away from the truck.

Tewksbury’s wife, Chris, said all who responded to her husband’s accident were angels. 

“Everyone worked hard to make sure Harold was not only safe, but was physically and mentally ok, also,” she said. It seemed like the first responders arrived in no time at all. I am very thankful for everyone who responded. This could have been so much worse.”