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High winds cause tree to smash senior’s car

By , Reporter  |  Saturday, May 5, 2012 6:35 PM

[slidepress gallery = '120505_tree_crash']

Rain, wind and a rotten tree caused senior Molly Meinert more than a little stress Saturday, May 5.

The tree crashed through Meinert’s parked car on Finn Street, just north of campus. Public Safety said the tree likely had damage from termites, causing it to fall due to 12-mph winds.

Meinert was at a house on the corner of Prior and Marshall avenues and returned to find damage to her Pontiac. The back window of the car was completely smashed, and the roof had been crushed flat.

Meinert first saw the damage while in the back of a friend’s car. She said that she was initially shocked and kept screaming in her boyfriend’s ear.

Meinert said that she was not yet aware of the total costs, but her insurance would not cover it.

“My insurance only covers me if I hit another car and I’m at fault; it will cover the costs to tow the car back to my parents’ house, but that’s it,” Meinert said.

The tree also fell near a Cadillac and Chevy, but the damage was not nearly as extensive.

Because the car was parked on public property, the accident required assistance from the St. Paul Police Department. The police said Public Works was called, and it would take about half an hour for the service to arrive.

After police left, St. Thomas Public Safety stayed at the scene.

Freshman Nick Ronnei is a friend of a nearby house owner and visited the site soon after the tree fell. He was there when Public Works arrived.

“They went to work pretty quickly. They had only been here about ten minutes, and they dismembered about half of the tree,” Ronnei said.

Kelsey Broadwell contributed to this report.

Anastasia Straley can be reached at stra0669@stthomas.edu.

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