Bellingham couple survives tree falling on car

Flooding concerns across Western Washington [Nov. 27, 2018].

A Bellingham couple suffered no injuries after a 100-foot fir tree snapped and fell on their car in the middle of a windstorm.

Joseph and Deborah Bernard are grateful to be alive.

"We know that we escaped death," Deborah said.

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The couple was driving back to Bellingham from Hoodsport Monday morning after spending Thanksgiving with family members. Deborah saw the tree falling but realized it was too late.

"We're going 45 miles per hour and there's no way to stop. There's no way we can avoid it because it's a 100-foot fir tree," she said.

Joseph slammed on the breaks. It happened so fast, he didn't have time to feel fear.

"I didn't cover my face and Deb didn't cover her face. We just looked at it coming," he said.

The couple watched the tree fall directly on top of the car.

"It was like a bomb hitting the car," Joseph said, "The windshield just shattered and popped out and it was just like two inches from our face when it stopped."

The impact was powerful enough to crush the windshield and the top of the vehicle. The Bernards did not suffer a single scratch.

"We were spared for a reason," Deborah said, "How could a 100-foot tree fall right on you, and you don't go?"

The couple says it's like getting another chance at life. When KIRO 7 asked what saved them:

"It was God, seatbelts and owning a Buick," Joseph said.

Highway 101 was shut down for hours while crews cleared out debris. Considering the recent rainfall, officials are warning drivers to be cautious because they say there is a risk for more trees falling.

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