Tree falls on car during storm, kills man in Ocala

Published On: May 20 2013 06:19:00 PM EDT   Updated On: May 21 2013 07:28:18 AM EDT

Strong winds topple a tree, killing a man as he sat in a car parked in his driveway in Ocala.

OCALA, Fla. -

Strong winds toppled a tree, killing a man as he sat in a car parked in his driveway.

According to Ocala police, 28-year-old Christopher Harris was sitting in his car in the driveway of his home on NE 10th Court just before 4:30 p.m. when a tree from his neighbor's yard fell and crashed onto his car.

The damage happened in just seconds as neighbors reported hearing fierce winds and rain, then a loud crack. Several people told police they heard the tree crash, including a man who lives across the street and found his brother pinned inside his car.

"Just backing out of the driveway, you don't expect anything like that," said Michael Powell, who lives two doors down.

Firefighters put tarp over the flattened car, as relatives watched for hours in tears.

According to Harris' Facebook page, he worked at World of Beer in Gainesville.  The establishment posted a message on its Facebook page, saying it's mourning the loss of Harris.

The tree crushed two cars, including a neighbor's Toyota Camry. Police said a woman had just driven home with her grandchildren and that the family went inside their house seconds before the tree landed on their car.

It's a frightening tragedy one neighbor hoped to avoid. Powell said he just cut down several trees on his property.

"I worry about it because there's other trees that are still close to my house that I worry about a tree falling on my house," said Powell. "It could to me. It could happen to anybody."

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued in Marion County as storms brought torrential rain and high winds.

In Volusia County, lightning sparked a 1-acre fire just after 4 p.m. The blaze ignited at Old Daytona Road but was quickly contained.


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