Discovery Park tree falls, crushes front of delivery van with driver still inside

SEATTLE — Neighbors shared with KIRO 7 pictures of a large tree that fell from Discovery Park Sunday morning across Emerson Street, crushing a parked delivery van with a driver still inside near 40th Avenue in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood.

See photos of the aftermath here

Cammy Hendrix, who said she saw the tree fall onto the van around 10:30 a.m., told KIRO 7 the delivery driver had parked in front of her house less than a minute before the tree came crashing down.

“I was so afraid of what I was going to find,” said Hendrix. "I knew that he was still in there; he hadn't gotten out of the car and I dialed 911.”

Surveillance video obtained by KIRO 7 showed the delivery driver roll by her neighbor’s home. Seconds later, the camera recorded the loud sound of a tree falling.

Amazingly, a spokesperson for Seattle Parks and Recreation said the delivery driver was not hurt. A spokesperson for Amazon confirmed to KIRO 7 the driver works for a company that delivers their packages in the Seattle area.

"I thought it was an earthquake but the ground wasn't shaking,” said neighbor Jennifer Nilsen, a nurse who checked out the stunned driver.

"If it'd been a smaller car, it would've been a disaster,” said Nilsen. “I'm surprised he was alive – glass all over him, in his hair."

Neighbors say it’s not the first tree to fall in the area in recent years. Hendrix showed KIRO 7 a section of fence near Sunday’s downed tree that she said was previously destroyed by a falling tree.

Hendrix said she contacted the city at the end of last year worried about Discovery Park trees falling along Emerson Street across from her house.

“I called the city and had an arborist come out,” said Hendrix. “Somebody is going to be killed – we are so lucky today.”

Part of Emerson Street near 40th Avenue remained partially blocked by the tree and closed to cars Sunday night.

Amazon said in an emailed statement to KIRO 7 Sunday:

“We’re thankful the delivery associate is OK and appreciate the community members for their care and concern.”

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