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Cars hit trees, with often-fatal results. Thei s a strange case, in which a tree hit a car. And the result was fatal.

DAVID F. ASHTON - A firefighter walks past the crushed van, its metal roof peeled forward to allow rescue crews access to the two people sleeping inside, after the limb was cut into pieces and removed. A bizarre and deadly incident occurred just west of Powell Park, along S.E. 22nd Avenue, just south of Powell Boulevard after dawn on Thursday morning, June 25, when a huge branch of an oak tree failed, and smashed down across a brown Chevrolet Astro Van that had been parked beneath.

At 8:47 a.m., both Central Precinct police officers and firefighters and paramedics from Portland Fire Station 12 were dispatched to what was originally called an "injury accident".

Complicating the rescue and recovery effort were the power lines that were directly over the crushed van.

PP&R Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Chatman told reporters at the scene that "two or three" people had been living inside of the van at the time the vehicle was smashed by the weighty tree limb. He later confirmed that one person, who a month later had yet to be officially identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A second person was taken to an area hospital with unknown injuries.

The investigation is ongoing.


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