SLIDESHOW: Tree smashes through car windshield on I-40 - | WBTV Charlotte

SLIDESHOW: Tree smashes through car windshield on I-40


A couple heading home to Raleigh after a Thanksgiving trip to the mountains are "lucky to be alive" say state troopers.

Charles and Deborah Baucom were on Interstate 40 just past exit 100 in Burke County when the top of a tree crashed through their windshield.

The tree was more than 50 feet off the roadway but was tall enough so that when it fell, the top ten feet of it broke off on a bridge railing at the very moment the Baucom car was passing by.

The impact smashed the windshield and the body of the car around it. While the couple inside were hurt, the injuries were not life threatening, said Trooper Daniel Lane.

The tree was rotted out and that played a major role, officials think. It soaked up a lot of water overnight as fain came through and with the ground as saturated as it was this morning, the tree was able to topple over.

Department of Transportation officials say crews routinely drive along the interstate and other major roads looking for trees that may pose a danger. Just a month ago, a contractor cut trees along the interstate that had the potential for trouble.

Officials say despite their best efforts, it would be nearly impossible to identify all the trees that are in trouble. What happened Monday says Trooper Lane is just a case of someone "Being in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time." 

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