Tree falls on Ypsilanti Township fire captain's truck on his commute to work
Photo courtesy Captain Larry James of the Ypsilanti Township Fire Department
However, he wasn't expecting to be involved in one of them.
The fire captain's commute was suddenly stalled when a tree came crashing down on his truck while traveling east on East Michigan Avenue between Case and Willow roads, in Saline Township.
"When it hit, it was just an explosion," he said. "It stared at my grill, went up my hood and came crashing through the windshield."
Photo courtesy of Captain Larry James of the Ypsilanti Township Fire Department
"Had it not hit the steering column first, I’d have been in a bit of trouble," he said.
Jim Harmon, director of operations for the Washtenaw County Road Commission, said the agency was notified of the accident at 6:05 a.m.
"The entire road was blocked due to this fallen tree," said Dave Kint, foreman for Michigan State trunkline maintenance.
Kint said the tree hit a semi-truck as well. He said its base was about 5 to 6 feet in diameter — which usually would be a tree about 15 to 19 feet around.
James said his leg was a bit stiff from after the limb hit it, but other than that, he was unharmed. Despite the holes in the windshield, he drove the truck the rest of the way to the fire department, making a point to take back roads.
"It was a real slow drive — kind of chilly," he said. "I shouldn’t have driven it, but I had to get to work and I wasn’t going to wait for a wrecker."
Kint said the tree is no longer obstructing traffic after he and his crew cut the limbs from it and moved the debris off of the road.
Harmon said residents are welcome to pick the wood up from the side of the road for personal use.
"It’s not uncommon for citizens to help themselves to the wood for firewood," he said. "We don’t object to that."
James said the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office and the Clinton Fire Department were on the scene as well. Neither were available for comment.