Large branch falls on car at Esther Short Park

Driver, who was briefly trapped inside parked vehicle, unhurt

By Libby Clark, Columbian Web Editor

Published:

Updated: July 12, 2011, 8:14 PM

 
photoA tree branch fell from an Esther Short Park tree onto Vancouver resident Brian VandenHeuvel's parked car as he waited for his wife to get off work at Starbucks across the street.

(/The Columbian)

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A large tree branch fell onto a car parked by Esther Short Park early Tuesday afternoon, startling the driver inside.

Vancouver resident Brian VandenHeuvel was parked, waiting for his wife to get off work at the Starbucks on Eighth Street in downtown Vancouver, he said, when he heard a passerby shout to get out of the car.

The branch, which had sounded a loud crack, was swinging precariously back and forth directly above the car.

He stayed put, and seconds later, the branch came down, denting the roof and trapping him inside.

A group of onlookers across the street rushed to the car, and five or six men helped pull the heavy branch off. VandenHeuvel emerged from the car stunned but safe.

More confusion ensued when VandenHeuvel’s two small dogs escaped the car and ran into the street. The group that had cleared the branch from the car helped chase his scared Dachshund back to safety.