Woman miraculously escapes injury after tree falls on car

ROXBOROUGH (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia woman was driving in Roxborough when a tree fell onto her car, trapping her inside. Somehow, she survived the freak accident, and is now sharing her story with Action News.

It was Sunday morning and 76-year-old Helen Quigley was driving home from church. She was traveling along the 7900 block of Henry Avenue when she noticed a huge tree swaying with the wind.

Helen explains, "All of a sudden I thought I better hit the brake, and the tree was on top of me."

In fact, that huge tree crushed a parked vehicle before buckling the roof of her car.

Helen was pinned inside with the roof pushing into the back of her head. She was terrified, but found comfort in a little prayer she recited just a few minutes earlier.

"Every time I get into my car I pray to my guardian angel. I've done that since I was a kid," she said.

Well, this time her guardian angel arrived in the form of an off-duty police officer who just happened to be walking by and witnessed the whole thing.

He quickly ran over, offering help and comfort.

Helen says, "He stayed with me and he held my hand, then he called 911."

Helen had to be extracted from the vehicle by firefighters.

Yet, after being examined at the hospital, she was released a few hours later with only bumps and bruises.

Helen's incredible escape from serious injury was a huge relief for her whole family, including her son Pennsylvania State Representative Tom Quigley.

Rep. Quigley tells us, "I just couldn't believe the luck there that nothing happened seriously. And we were walking out of (the hospital) by 3 o'clock in the afternoon, which is unbelievable."

And Mrs. Quigley was sure to offer her appreciation for all the first responders who came to her rescue.

"I just wanted to thank them all, because I am still here," she said.

There is still one thank you that Mrs. Quigley has yet to deliver. Because her head was pinned down she couldn't see the officer who came to her rescue, and he left before she was extracted from the vehicle. So now, the family is hoping that man will contact State Representative Quigley's office so they can set up a meeting and formally thank him for what he did.
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