Video: Officer hit by tree during traffic stop

CENTERVILLE, IA (CNN) – An Iowa police officer survives an unusual near-death experience, and it was all caught on video.

Mark Tauscheck has the details.

Jeremy Veach, Centerville Police Officer: “I heard a couple cracks, a very loud pop, in hindsight I had time to think, holy cow a tree is falling.”

A 30 foot Oak that easily would have crushed Officer Jeremy Veach with a direct hit.
Jeremy Veach, Centerville Police Officer: “Fortunately for me and unfortunately for the owner of the vehicle it absorbed a good portion of the impact.”

Veach says it felt like being swatted with a giant fly swatter.

Jeremy Veach, Centerville Police Officer: “I was picking tree bark out of my ears, out of my hair – I mean it just exploded tree crumbs everywhere.”

Amazingly he limped away with only scrapes, bruises and 3 stitches in his elbow.

Jeremy Veach, Centerville Police Officer: “I just thank God, it could have been a lot worse than it was.”

The owners of the Oak say it appeared healthy, its leaves were green, there was no wind that night, apparently a truly freak accident.

Jeremy Veach, Centerville Police Officer: “It’s just one of those jokes it will never go away.”

And soon after the tree bark settled, the tree barbs came out.

Jeremy Veach, Centerville Police Officer: “One of the other officers called me and asked if this was Veachs tree trimming service.”

And Officer Veach wasn’t the only unlucky-lucky person that night, the driver whose car was totaled, wasn’t injured and she didn’t get a ticket.

Jeremy Veach, Centerville Police Officer: “That’s the one true way to get out of a ticket; ya know everyone asks police officer how you get out of a ticket? If a tree falls on you you’re probably going to get off.”

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