MERRICK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A giant tree limb came crashing down on a Long Island street Friday, briefly trapping two drivers.

As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, it was a close call for one family.

Work Crews had to carve out freedom for a Nissan sport-utility vehicle trapped under a large limb of a 60-foot oak on Hewlitt Avenue in Merrick.

It was a shock for driver Rob Cerny, who was taking his daughter Cassie to summer camp when it happened.

“I was like scared and shaken up,” Cassie said. “I saw literally it a second before, and I was like, ‘Dad, watch out!’”

“I was making a left turn – a normal left turn,” added Rob Cerny. “Next thing we know, we have glass and a big bang, and things are falling into the car.”

Cerny and his daughter escaped without a scratch. But the family’s vehicle was demolished.

The tree limb also brought down a power line, temporarily knocking out electricity to eight homes.

Once the chainsaw work was done, there were so many pieces and debris that heavy equipment was brought in to clear it.

The driver of a second SUV, this one a Honda, was briefly trapped by the tree limb. He got out and was not hurt.

What forced the tree limb to the ground is not known. It might have been a wind gust.

A member of the salvage crew noted an infestation of insects, indicating the tree was likely not healthy.

“I feel good,” Cerny said. “I guess someone is looking out for us.”

Neighbors said they are happy that the tree limb did not come down during rush hour when the intersection is filled with traffic.


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