Saanich man escapes injury after massive oak tree falls on his car
Rain caused a giant Garry oak to topple over, smashing into a car and yard on McAdoo Place in Saanich. Thurs., Jan. 3, 2019. (CTV Vancouver Island)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, January 4, 2019 2:56PM PST
Last Updated Friday, January 4, 2019 4:24PM PST
Fred Gracia says it's remarkable no one was hurt when a tree came crashing down onto his car while he was in the driver's seat.
The Saanich man and his wife were about to leave their McAdoo Place home during a storm that drenched B.C.'s coast Thursday when she went back inside to get something.
That's when the massive Garry oak toppled over, directly on to Gracia's vehicle.
"I was sitting there waiting for my wife, and it hits the top of the car, and then the glass broke," said Gracia. "The glass went all over the place, in front of me, and I couldn't get out of the car at first. I had to go through the other door, push myself out."
Family friend Pat Williams, who was visiting from Mill Bay at the time, said she was downstairs when she heard the loud crash.
"I heard what I thought was thunder or an earthquake or something and I came running upstairs," she said. "The tree just came down."
The tree also bumped up against Gracia's roof and smashed apart an outdoor kids' play area set up in his yard.
Gracia was shaken by the incident but miraculously escaped injury.
Williams said if it weren't for Thursday's downpour, things could've turned out much worse.
"Any other day the kids would've been outside playing and it would've been disastrous," she said. "I'm sure there would've been injuries."
Gracia said a restoration company is coming to chop up the tree and haul it away, but in the meantime, it's left him and his without a means of transportation.
"We won't be able to work for a couple of weeks maybe," he said.
The restoration company told Gracia intense rain likely played a role in the tree toppling over.
Thursday's rainfall set new records for greatest precipitation ever on Jan. 3 in Victoria and greatest rainfall overall in Ucluelet.
Environment Canada says B.C.'s capital saw 48.2 millimetres of rain, shattering its previous record of 27.2 millimetres set way back in 1936.
In Ucluelet, just over 214 millimeters of rain fell, setting a new record for rainest day in the western Vancouver Island community.
You've seen the storm totals, but did you know we also BROKE DAILY RECORDS with that last #BCstorm system? Several Daily records for most snow and most precipitation shattered on Jan 2nd and 3rd. #Ucluelet established a new RAINIEST DAY EVER with 214.2 mm ! #bcWX #BCrain #BCsnow pic.twitter.com/2vzqeHpZmH— ECCC Weather British Columbia (@ECCCWeatherBC) January 4, 2019