Tree Falls on Car, Kills Man in Freak Accident

Posted on: 10:33 am, January 19, 2013, by , and , updated on: 07:17pm, January 19, 2013

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Lakewood man died after a large tree branch fell onto his car, trapping him inside the vehicle late Friday.

The accident happened around 11:50 p.m.

Investigators said Michael Agnish, 37, was exiting Interstate 90 East at Warren Road, and was approaching Marginal Road. That’s when police said a large branch came crashing down onto his car.

After he was freed from the vehicle, Agnish was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center where he died around 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

Crews spent the day Saturday clearing the tree in Cleveland’s West Park Neighborhood.

The tree was in the backyard of a home on Fernway Avenue, which butts up against Marginal Road.

Margi Shaw and her husband, Ned Perotti, had driven down Marginal Road earlier Friday night and were at her mother’s home on Fernway Avenue when they heard the tree fall.

“We heard a very large noise, and then a crashing noise, and then immediately all the lights went out,” Shaw said.

When they looked onto Marginal Road, they could see what happened.

“It fell right on smack on top of a car,” said Perotti. “It looked like it was laying across the hood and the windshield of the car. And, it was pretty horrible.”

According to the National Weather Service, there were wind gusts up to 32 miles an hour at the time the tree fell.

Perotti thought the winds felt much stronger.

“There was a really big gust of wind, because I was sitting in a small car in the driveway, and it kind of lifted the car up a little bit,” he said.

This is the second tree on Fernway Avenue to fall in recent months.

Shaw said when Hurricane Sandy came through in October, a tree uprooted and fell over. Her mother’s home was one of three houses damaged. No one was hurt.

The second tree fell in the other direction onto the roadway.

“It’s kind of odd that two trees fell in a short period of time and then falling on the Marginal just seems like a freak accident — that it would fall on the Marginal at the same time someone was coming through,” Shaw said.