Guardian angels. That's the only explanation a Clearwater grandma can give for how she and her grandson survived a terrifying crash.
Friday morning, a tree smashed through Milagros Medina’s car, while she and her 8-year-old grandson were driving on S Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue near Lakeview Road in Clearwater.
“Baboom! Big old tree fell right on the car,” Medina exclaimed.
Medina takes her grandson Travis Minschere to Eisenhower Elementary School every morning along the same street. Medina says the huge laurel oak fell out of nowhere and within seconds they were pinned in the car in mess of broken glass and crumpled metal.
The 40 foot tall tree cracked the concrete sidewalk and smashed through Medina’s Suzuki Forenza.
Medina wiped away tears as she explained, “The lord must have said it is not your time to go, grandma. You’re gonna stay around a little longer.”
Clearwater police tell ABC Action News Friday morning's storm may have caused the tree to topple over.
Katie Kenall lives less than 100 feet away.
"It could have landed on my house,” she said enthusiastically. Kenall’s had big concerns about the tree for months. “I know there has been some talk about whether it should be knocked down.”
The city of clearwater admits, the 40-year-old oak was on their radar, but they didn't think it was bad enough to be chopped down.
“A tree is a tree. No real way to know when it’s going to fail,” explained Lyle Adams.
It’s a scary thought for people who walk this street every day to get to school and work.
"It's terrifying. That just doesn't happen. That's crazy,” Heather Carpenter added. She owns the daycare just down the street, “Our kids walk here past that tree every day.”
Travis is holding his grandma a little closer tonight. “I was really scared but I knew she would protect me. On a scale of 1-100, I love my grandma 1,000!”
Clearwater is in the process of closely inspecting every tree in the city. They rank them on a “danger of falling/need to be removed” scale from 1 to 5. This tree was a 3.
The tree was last inspected in 2015.