Diana Buckley of Florence feels lucky she escaped injury when a tree fell on her car in Easthampton
NORTHAMPTON — Most people wouldn’t consider themselves lucky if a tree fell on their car while they were driving along. But Diana Buckley said she was feeling very lucky, even though her beloved Toyota Prius was pretty smashed up, because she came out of the Thursday afternoon accident unscathed.
“What are the odds?” she said Friday. “I guess random things just happen.”
Shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday, Buckley, 65, of Florence, was driving up Mount Tom on Route 141 heading toward Holyoke.
“I was going to Boston to visit my adult son. Life was good, I wasn’t on the phone, it was a clear day,” she recalled. “The next thing I knew there was a tree falling and the branches smashed the windshield.”
She said she ended up on the other side of the tree, but she’s not exactly sure if she drove through the branches, or if the tree, buoyed on its branches, bounced up enough for her to drive under.
“I screamed, then I swore,” she said, laughing.
She said she was shaken up by the accident, but “an angel” came to her rescue. “The woman driving behind me stopped, jumped out and called 911,” Buckley said. “She made sure I was OK and stayed with me until the police got there and even after.”
Buckley’s “angel” was Tiffany Bergeron of Westfield.
Buckley also bestowed the same title on Easthampton Police Officer Dennis Scribner and the emergency responders that checked her out at the scene, where she declined medical treatment. “Everyone was very nice to me,” she said.
Her husband, Robert Fazzi, drove her to the emergency room later because her head hurt, but she said doctors told her she was fine. Police Sgt. Bruce Nicol said that, according to the accident report, the rearview mirror may have struck her in the head when the windshield shattered.
The damage to the car included the smashed windshield and dents in the roof, hood and side of the car, he said.
Nicol said the tree, approximately 8 to 10 inches in diameter, uprooted and fell from the uphill side of Route 141, also called Mountain Road, and completely blocked one lane, causing a major traffic jam during rush hour.
The road was down to one lane during most of the nearly two-hour cleanup. Highway Department employees had to cut up the tree and load it into a truck to remove it.
Buckley said that in addition to her good health, she is also grateful that her car is not a total loss, although it will require some repairs. “I love my car, my little blue Prius. Everybody knows how much I love this car,” she gushed.
Rebecca Everett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.