Bill Quaile urges residents to be aware of falling trees.
The Callahan resident was working on his property Sept. 11 when a dead pine tree fell on him as he operated a front-end loader.
The tree had been struck by lightning and was already in bad shape. Rain saturation on the ground may have contributed to the tree’s fall.
“All of a sudden, bam,” Quaile said. “Like a shotgun, it came through the top canopy and into my lap.”
The bracing from the front end loader caught the bulk of the tree so that it didn’t crush his legs. The tree fell near his face though, striking his right arm.
“If it hadn’t been for the bracing, I’d been a goner for sure,” Quaile said. “People need to know because it’s happening all the time and it’s dangerous.”
Following the incident, he called his daughter Nancy, who lives nearby. The nurse quickly treated and bandaged his wound before he followed up with his doctor.
“I’m so glad that it wasn’t another part of my body and it wasn’t broken,” Quaile said.
A week earlier, an oak tree on his property was struck by lightning, causing a limb to catch fire and fall to the ground. The rain extinguished the small flames.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Quaile said. “We need to be more observant in the woods. I just took it for granted that nothing was going to fall.”
He experienced nightmares that only recently subsided.
“When I think about it, it really frightens me,” Quaile said.
At 81, the property owner is glad he’s on the mend.
“I’m just so blessed to get through that with only a big scratch,” he said.