GREENWOOD, SC – Shaquasia Jackson and her boyfriend, Thomas Wideman, stood by their front porch Tuesday, looking at what appeared to be a ticking time bomb in their front yard.
“We had noticed that it was rotten,” Jackson said, pointing toward the fallen tree. “You could just see it because it was hanging down a little bit. So we knew it was going to fall, we just didn’t know when it was going to fall.”
The couple said they heard a “big crack” on Monday around 4pm when the tree fell during a springtime storm.
Several large branches took down a telephone line before landing on both of their vehicles; the couple’s only means of transportation to work.
“I’m at a loss for words,” Wideman said. “I just want my car paid for.”
The two had been renting the property the tree was on for less than a year, and contacted 7-News about who was responsible for paying for the damages.
They questioned why neither the rental agency nor the property owner would cover the damages, since the tree was on their land.
“We were just shocked about that, we thought that they would do something to help us but they weren’t even trying to,” Jackson said.
7-News reached out to an insurance agent with no relation to the incident in Greenwood, in order to find out who was responsible for paying for the damaged vehicles.
“It’s really hard to hold somebody else accountable for an act of God,” insurance agent Max Fain said Monday.
Fain explained over the phone that even if the tree is on someone else’s property, in almost all cases, that person is not liable.
He said the only comprehensive car insurance would cover damages to these victims from weather-related incidents.
“If she does not have comprehensive coverage on her vehicles, then there’s not going to be any coverage on her vehicles.”
After relaying the information to Jackson and Wideman, the two told 7-News they did not have comprehensive coverage, only collision.
As storms continue into the Spring, they said others should check the type of insurance they have for both cars and homes, so what happened to them won’t happen to anyone else.
If you would like to donate to help the couple purchase a new car, click here.