RI tree fall traps drivers under live wires, branches

The tree was likely damaged in a prior storm

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Police in Warwick are investigating what caused a tree to fall into a street Monday afternoon.

Authorities said the tree landed on top of several cars near the corner of West Shore Road and Main Avenue around 3:30 p.m.

Crews were seen using chainsaws to cut the tree back.

According to the Warwick Assistant Fire Chief, four people were initially trapped in their cars when the tree fell.

“These people are very, very lucky that there were no serious injuries or death resulting from this,” said Asst. Chief Bruce Cooley. “It takes a long time – you have to take the tree apart limb by limb in a certain process to get the people out without adding further injury.”

Eyewitness News has learned that all people are now out of the vehicles and no serious injuries were reported, though one woman was seen being loaded into an ambulance. The victims were trapped for about a half hour, officials said.

One man said the tree came right through the back of his car.

“I was going right, and suddenly boom, down comes a tree right on the top of my car, right on the top of the car in front of me, and I didn’t really know what happened. I turned around, and the tree is right through the back of my car,” said Domenic Murgo of Warwick.

Murgo was on his way to pick up his passport, so he can travel to China to play in the Monopoly Championship.

“Suddenly a gentleman came out from behind me and he said ‘stay in your car, stay in your car, we have live wires down,’” Murgo recalled.

National Grid crews were called to the scene to cut the power in the area, because the live wires were a danger to the people in the area.

Fire officials said the tree was likely damaged in the August 4 storm.

Copyright 2015 WPRI

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