A 30-foot oak tree struck an Iowa police officer during a routine traffic stop.
The freak accident was captured on the officer’s dashboard camera.
Fortunately, Officer Jeremy Veach of the Centerville, Iowa, PD, did not suffer any serious harm other than cuts and bruises and only needed a few stitches after the scary incident. The outcome obviously could have been far worse if he had been crushed under the branches.
Veach had pulled over a motorist in an SUV for allegedly driving without her lights on at about 11 pm last Wednesday when the rotted tree hit him and knocked him to the ground. See embed below in which you can the hear the crackling of the tree branches just before it falls. Backup officers arrived promptly after they were summoned on the police radio by a reserve cop who was also on the scene with Officer Veach, who can be seen limping away from the accident.
The driver of the pulled-over vehicle also suffered just minor injuries, although her vehicle apparently was much worse for wear because it absorbed the brunt of the incident. She avoided a ticket, however. Quipped Veach, “That’s the one, true way to get out of a ticket, ya know. Everyone asks a police officer, ‘How do you get out of a ticket?’ If a tree falls on you, you’re probably going to get off.”
Veach also said that he was “picking tree bark out of my hair… it could have been a lot worse that it was.”
Centerville Police Chief Tom Demray said of the lucky officer, “It’s a wonder he’s not dead.” The chief also noted that the falling-tree incident is “living proof” that there is no such thing as a routine law enforcement traffic stop. Calling it a freak accident, the chief indicated that there no reports of high winds at the time.
Officer Veach was scheduled to return to work this week.