By Adrienne Fawcett
Carley Sullivan was driving on E. Center Avenue in Lake Bluff last Wednesday morning when an extremely large branch from a nearly 200-year-old tree fell on the hood and windshield of her SUV, narrowly missing the front seat and the driver herself.
“I managed to crawl out the passenger side of the car and proceeded to sit on the side of the road wondering how I avoided being killed since it appeared as if the limb was falling on my head,” said Ms. Sullivan, who was on her way to work at the Church of the Holy Spirit preschool in Lake Forest when the accident occurred. “The weather wasn’t windy. In fact I was thinking how fun recess would be because it was such a nice day.”
Village Administrator Drew Irvin said the tree was a red oak that’s 160 to 200+ years old. After the accident, the village removed the tree from its location on the 200 block of E. Center Avenue. He said the tree appeared healthy, and that it was on the staging area of the Fourth of July Parade route and inspected annually and regularly maintained.
However, Ms. Sullivan said the tree limb that fell on her car was totally hollow inside.
Fortunately, after the accident people near by rallied to her side.
“People all around gathered to help me out,” she said. “Some rubbing my back, others calling 911, calling my job to tell them I would not be in, and more offering to go with me to the hospital. What an amazing town!”
After the police and emergency medial technicians arrived, Ms. Sullivan was taken to the hospital and later released.