JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville woman said she feels lucky to be alive after wind gusts split a pine tree in half Sunday afternoon and the tree came crashing down on top of her as she lay in the bedroom of her Westside mobile home.
Misty Powell has been released from the hospital after rescue workers had to cut into her home with the Jaws of Life just to free her from under the tree.
“I had some guardian angels watching over me,” Powell said. “The thing in my neck, they say if it had been an inch or more deeper, it would have hit my artery.”
Powell said she was lying down in bed but was awake when the tree toppled onto her about 2:30 p.m. as the wind and rain started to pick up Sunday. Her husband and 2-year-old daughter were also in the Noroad mobile home but were on the other side of the trailer.
“I was glad I told my daughter to stay out in the living room because mom wasn’t feeling good, because she normally comes to lay down with me,” Powell said.
On Monday, the tree that nearly crushed Powell could be seen cut up outside the mobile home.
Powell said she now plans on getting a lawyer because the tree was known to have problems.
“We even told our landlord it was going to happen,” Powell said. “That it was even going to land on our bedroom or the trailer next door.”
Powell said the landlord offered to fix the damaged mobile home but won't pay for her ruined property, medical expenses or the hotel room her family is having to live in for now.
Powell said it will take a lot of work to make that part of the house livable again, possibly even involving cutting off the side of the home where the tree landed and patching it up.
Jacksonville attorney Gene Nichols, who provides legal analysis for News4Jax, said Powell might have a case if she can prove the landlord knew the tree had problems, but it’s possible the landlord could claim the tree falling was essentially an act of God, which would limit the liability.
As she waits to return to her home, Powell said she's in a lot of pain.
“My whole chest hurts. My shoulder blades hurt,” Powell said. “I literally feel like I had a 50,000-pound truck sitting on me.”
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