PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Startling footage shared by the Oregon Department of Transportation shows a tree begin to fall across the interstate on Monday, just as a car passes underneath.
The car, which was being driven by an incident responder for the Oregon DOT, managed to narrowly pass under the large tree just before it landed on the northbound lanes of Interstate 5, near Wolf Creek in Josephine County.
Dashcam footage also appears to show some of the tree’s branches hitting the car as it drives under the falling tree.
No one was hurt, but the tree caused traffic delays for an hour and a half, according to the department.
The Oregon State Police managed to find a private logging company’s vehicle “in the traffic queue” and enlisted the company’s help in removing the tree from the road, the Oregon DOT said in a tweet.
According to the Oregon DOT, accidents such as this can occur when trees are overloaded with heavy snow. This type of wet, heavy snow can pile up on dying trees, dead trees, or trees with other structural defects, bringing down branches or the entire tree.
Such trees are described as “hazard trees,” a category that includes any tree that poses a threat to a structure, a roadway or a person, either by having the potential to fall over, or having branches or parts that may fall over and cause an accident, injury or structural damage.
The Oregon DOT urged the importance of driving slower in wintry conditions, and warned drivers to keep a close eye for trees that are close to the roadway, or may possibly fall.
Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather, and community events that matter to you.