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May 9, 2014

Dashcam video shows tree falling on police officer

CENTERVILLE, Iowa — A police officer in southern Iowa only has minor injuries after a tree fell on him during a routine traffic stop.

Officer Jeremy Veach will be OK, Centerville Chief of Police Tom Demry said. But he said his injuries could have been much worse.

“It’s a wonder he’s not dead,” Demry said.

Veach had pulled over a vehicle at the intersection of Fifth and Ontario streets at approximately 11:16 p.m. Wednesday.

Dashcam video shows what happened next: As Veach spoke with the driver, a large tree on the opposite site of the vehicle fell across its hood, hitting the officer and knocking him to the ground.

Veach remained on the ground for a moment while a reserve officer who was with him called for help over the police radio. The injured officer can be seen slowly standing up and then limping over to the front of the vehicle to check on the driver, who also suffered minor injuries.

Demry said the collapse of the rotting tree was just a “freak of nature.” He said he wasn’t aware of any strong winds at the time. National Weather Service weather history doesn’t show any elevated wind gusts in Centerville at that time, and winds were registering a steady 10-12 mph.

Kyle Ocker writes for The Daily Iowegian in Centerville, Iowa.

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