A relatively routine traffic stop in Centerville, Iowa, nearly ended in tragedy when a tree — for no apparent reason — keeled over and fell atop an SUV that a police officer had pulled over.
The incident was captured by the police cruiser's dashcam. In the footage, Officer Jeremy Veach can be seen calmly issuing a ticket to a driver who had neglected to turn her headlights on.
But then, cue nature's fury. The oak tree falls, the officer ducks, and much of the SUV is crushed.
Veach suffered relatively minor injuries but compared the encounter to being swatted with a giant fly swatter, according to a report from KCCI.com. The driver escaped the bizarre encounter unscathed. Her car, not so much.
And give credit to Veach. Most people would be curled up in a fetal position after being nearly hammered into the ground. Veach stays calm, limps away like he's Stallone and it's just another day at the office.
Veach told KCCI that he did notice the cracking of wood just before the oak tree tumbled, but he didn't put two and two together until it was nearly too late.
Veach said, "I was picking tree bark out of my hair, it was in my ears. It just kind of exploded tree crumbs everywhere."
While having your car crushed in a freak accident while getting a ticket is about as tough luck as it gets, the SUV driver was given a pass on the moving violation.
"Everybody asks a police officer, 'How do you get out of a ticket?' If a tree falls on you, you’re probably going to get out," Veach told KCCI.
Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).
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