It could have been a lot worse for the occupants of an SUV in Port Coquitlam, after a tree fell on the vehicle, trapping two people inside.
Both the PoCo and Coquitlam fire departments were called to Woodland Drive and Kitchener Avenue Sunday afternoon when a 50-foot cottonwood tree gave way, crashing on top of a car waiting in a line of traffic.
PoCo acting deputy fire chief Robert Kipps said the two occupants in the back managed to get out of the truck, but the driver and front passenger were trapped inside.
It took 20 minutes for crews from both departments to free the two occupants.
Though the extent of the occupants' injuries were not known, Kipps said they were both conscious when removed from the vehicle. The car was also heavily damaged in the process.
Kipps said witnesses described a large gust of wind just prior to the tree toppling over.
The deputy chief also noted the tree was rotten at the base.
"They [occupants] were extremely lucky," Kipps told The Tri-Cities NOW.
The area where the tree fell is described as a grassy portion with three cottonwood trees.
According to PoCo officials, the tree was on a small city lot that housed a number of utilities. Following the incident, the city removed the fallen tree and an adjacent tree.
But after further investigation from the city's arborist, another two trees were also removed from the site.
In a statement, the city said the first priority during such an event is the life and safety of people and, secondly, to clear roads and secure all storm-damaged trees with the potential to cause further damage.
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