Canby couple describes tree falling on car

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by KGW staff

NWCN.com

Posted on December 3, 2012 at 6:20 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 4:46 AM

CANBY – A husband and wife were trapped in a car in their driveway after a tree fell on the vehicle and "flattened it like a pancake" Sunday, firefighters said.

The tree was roughly 30 inches in diameter and 100-feet long. It fell around 2:45 p.m. near 950 NE 34th Place.

The couple had just pulled into the driveway of their family home when the tree came down on them.  Chris Natelborg said they heard a cracking sound and had mere moments to react.  He hugged the center console and his wife, Tymona curled up on the floor mat.

Afterwards, they were able to crawl out the driver's side window and firefighters also arrived to help.

"They must have a bright light shining down on them because if you look at the passenger compartment, especially the driver’s compartment, there’s a space of about two loaves of bread in there," said spokesman Troy Buzalsky with the Canby Fire District.

Chris, who had been driving, suffered a fractured shoulder. Tymona barely had a scratch.  They were both taken to Oregon Health and Science University to get checked over.

"When they came out everybody was standing up and everybody looked good," said Bernie VanHouten, a parent of one of the victims. 

An arborist said the downed tree was due to a combination of saturated soil, root failure and wind. 

The couple had just moved to Canby from Michigan.  They have been living with relatives in Canby while they house-hunt for their own place.

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