A couple of weeks ago during a SCCA New England Region Rally Board meeting, fellow board member Hal Denham mentioned that he had a tree fall on his car as he was traveling to work one morning. I thought at the time that this was quite unusual, but Hal did not dwell on the story and I more or less forgot about it. This past week Hal and I exchanged a couple of emails about rallies and our need to get started with laying out the this July’s Mass Challenge rally. In one of the emails Hal sent me a couple of pictures of his Audi TT that he was driving when he got hit by the tree. These photos changed my perspective on what happened to Hal.
On January 31, 2013 at 5:15 AM Hal was traveling east on Route 16 in Wellsley, Massachusettes when the top half of a large fir tree, approximately 75-foot tall, snapped off in high winds and fell onto the road as he was driving by. He drove out from under the top of the falling tree, not seeing it falling as the wind was from the same direction as I was traveling. The photo below shows Hal’s Audi TT after it’s run-in with the tree.
Hal Denham’s Audi TT With Damaged The Headlights, Windshield, Hood, Fender, Roof, and Trunk
The real scary part is what happened inside the car. Look at the branch that came through the windshield! That branch came very close to impaling Hal or at least turning him into a guy who could sing soprano!
This Branch Could Have Been Deadly!
Had Hal been traveling a just little faster the results would have been much different.
Hal wrote that the car still drives fine. Apparently there is no structural damage, just cosmetic damage, but from an insurance company viewpoint, the car was considered a total write-off. However Hal plans to put it back on the road, safe, but with a few battle scars. This is, or was, a good car as Hal and I have competed in a couple of rallies together in this car.
He should consider himself to be very lucky!