Thursday morning storm downs tree on driving truck in Greenville


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — As Jose Martinez headed to work Thursday morning, he was not expecting the tree to fall — much less as he was driving. Gusty winds and soggy soil conspired to fell a 60-year-old tree, right onto the hood of Martinez’s green Ford Ranger as he drove by.

“When I come to this road and come to right here, I see the tree come into my truck, you know?” Martinez said.

The tree crushed the hood and the windshield of the little pickup truck. It also popped one of the headlights and stripped off half the bumper. Inside the cab of the truck, there were shards of tempered class sprinkled across the seats and floor mats.

“I saw a blue flash in the distance,” Tad Riddle, the homeowner whose tree crushed Martinez’s car, said. “Power went out. Then, I heard this loud CHOOM and I looked out the bathroom window and there was my big tree laying in the yard and in the road.”

By the time Riddle made it outside to help, Martinez had already extricated himself from the wreck. Despite all the damage to the truck, he had not been injured, only shaken up.

Martinez relied on the little green truck to get him to and from work each day; he says it is the only vehicle he had.

He told 7News he did not know what would come next for him.

Meanwhile, Riddle, whose driveway was damaged by the tree’s root system, said he plans to have an insurance inspector survey the damage the tree caused.

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