Wind gust snaps tree, smashes truck with kids inside

Wind gust snaps tree, smashes truck with kids inside »Play Video
KATU photo.

GLADSTONE, Ore. - A dad and three kids escaped injury when a tree fell on their truck on Highway 99E Friday afternoon.

It happened at the south end of the bridge that goes over the Clackamas River between Gladstone and Oregon City.

Troy Portash told KATU that a cottonwood tree simply snapped in the wind and fell on his windshield, crushing part of his Ford pickup truck.
Three kids in the back were all strapped in car seats and were safe. Portash said he was fine, too.

He said he noticed a few branches come down first just before the tree did.

"We're just very fortunate – feel very lucky," Portash said. "Kids were in the back. Car seats were great. Everyone was just scared, driver included, but it turned out great."

The tree also hit the windshield of a Pontiac, state troopers said. The driver of that car and her passenger also were not injured.

The tree's trunk was as wide as two feet in places, troopers said. The road was blocked for about an hour until crews could clear the tree.

High winds around Western Oregon caused trees and power lines to fall, sparking several fires.