Tree crushes moving SUV, kills man

February 11, 2008 3:39:02 PM PST
State Police investigators in Reading say they've never seen anything quite like it. A tree toppled under the force of Sunday's strong winds and crushed a Chevrolet Trailblazer traveling on Woodside Avenue just south of Topton in Longswamp Township.

Not only did the tree hit a vehicle moving an estimated 40 miles an hour, but also it landed directly over the heads of the driver and passenger.

Forty-eight-year-old Dean Derr was killed. His 49-year-old wife Cynthia was listed in critical condition with serious head injuries.

The Derr family home in Kutztown, usually overrun by their four grandchildren, stood quiet and empty on Monday.

Jennifer Tabor, who lives next door, says what makes this story even more tragic is the fact that Dean felt like he was given a second chance at life after having a lung removed two years ago during a bout with lung cancer.