Fortunate Driver Unhurt After Tree Falls Onto Car

Salley Wood said she saw the large tree as it came toppling onto her car Thursday and knew she had to make a quick decision.

Slam on the brakes and hope to stop in time, or hit the gas and hope to outrun the tree as it fell?

In a moment, Wood chose speed. “It was coming right toward my car, so I just accelerated,” Wood said.

Wood made a good call. She was unhurt, though her car was totaled, when the large tree fell on her SUV at 3800 Harrison Street in northwest D.C. Thursday evening.

Rain had soaked the ground around the tree, and its roots couldn’t hold.

“It was very surreal,” said Wood, who happens to be the daughter of News4 reporter Pat Collins. “You sort of see the tree coming, and it seems as if it is almost in slow motion although it happened very quickly.”

The scary crash could have been worse: The tree hit the roof of her car just above where her children usually sit in their car seats. On Thursday, her husband had picked them up because she was working late.

The tree also pulled down live power lines, though no one was injured.

And, it turns out, Wood’s gut instinct was the right one.

"Fortunately, it got the back of my car and sort of spit me out,” Wood said.

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