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Bellingham couple escapes death 'by grace of God and seat belts' after tree topples on car

A Bellingham couple survived this close call after a tree fell on their car along Highway 101 near Quilcene. (Photo via: Deborah Bernard)

QUILCENE, Wash. -- A couple is counting their blessings after surviving a harrowing crash when a tree fell on their car during Monday's wind storm.

Joseph and Deborah Bernard were heading north on Highway 101 along the Olympic Peninsula on their way back to Bellingham after visiting family for the Thanksgiving weekend. But just before 10 a.m. as they approached Quilcene, a 100-foot tall fir tree fell across the road, striking the couple's Buick right on top of the windshield!

"Escaped death by the grace of God and seatbelt," Deborah Bernard told KOMO News. "And the troopers said also the fact that it was a Buick!"

Miraculously, neither Joseph nor Deborah were injured, and in fact posed by the wreckage as State Patrol troopers and state workers worked to clear the tree.

Bernard says the road was closed for about an hour before reopening.

Winds were reported in the 30-35 mph range in the area during that time frame.

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