Bicyclist nearly hit by falling tree talks to News10NBC

Updated: 08/25/2014 5:10 PM
Created: 08/25/2014 4:57 PM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts

A bicyclist narrowly avoids being seriously injured by a fallen tree. Cameras captured the moment when the tree fell and just missed 69-year-old Sharon Daniel.

We spoke with Daniel on the phone Monday afternoon. Aside from some bumps and bruises, she says she was not seriously hurt in the fall Sunday.

Today, crews were working to cut up what was left of the tree and haul it away. Now many people are wondering what happened to make the tree fall. We took that question to a tree expert.

“You take a year like this, where we've had so much growth, it's not uncommon for trees just to fall.” Greg Frank of Ted Collins Tree and Landscape says it doesn't have to be windy or raining. All it takes is enough moisture in the ground and enough growth on top for trees to sometimes tip over. He says that's likely what happened to the black walnut tree that nearly fell on top of a cyclist Sunday morning.

A gas station across the canal captured video of what happened. Daniel was biking along the canal, like she does almost every day, when it happened. She says she heard the tree crack above her and start to fall. She tells us she quickly stopped and the bike slid under the tree. Daniel says she was inches from being crushed herself.

Today, dozens of cyclists took to the same trail. With many trees hanging low over the water, we wanted to know if another close call could happen again. Frank says it's not likely. “Now that you look down the pathway, it seems like this could potentially happen more but when you really think about it, you would be just as likely to be hit by lightning as to have a tree fall on you. So to stop using the canal, I don't think that's really necessary.”

Frank says it's nothing to worry about as long as you're aware when biking along the canal and try to steer clear of any low hanging trees.

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