Kara Smith and Gage Ford, a couple traveling to visit friends earlier this month, were seriously injured when a tree fell on their car in King George County, Virginia.
Smith, 27, and Ford, 24, were flown to hospital after another motorist witnessed the freak accident and flagged down a state trooper to provide aid.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Scott Smith, Kara’s father, said, according to WTVR. “Your kids are always your kids, no matter what their age, you always want to protect them.”
Both Kara and Gage require extensive medical treatment.
“Kara is suffering from multiple fractures in her thoracic and cervical spine. She also has fractures of her scapula (shoulder blade) and radius (one of the bones in the forearm),” wrote Scott on a GoFundMe page set up to pay for Kara’s medical costs.
A similar page has been created for Ford, who is in a medically-induced coma while his head injuries are treated.
While the injuries were severe, Scott believed that things could have been much worse.
“I have looked at the photos of the automobile — it looked like a non survivable event,” he said, basing his judgement on his experience as a firefighter. “It’s amazing they’re both alive.”
“Our family is thankful that we aren’t dealing with the issue of blame or anger,” Scott said. “Most events like this involve someone doing something wrong causing harm to others. In this instance, there isn’t that issue. No one did anything wrong. In fact, everything right seems to have happened. The State Trooper arrived on-scene quickly, the Fire and Rescue Crews did a quick and effective job of extrication, and the care given allowed them to be transported to the right care facilities.
A similar fallen tree incident occurred this month in nearby Hannover County, resulting in the fatality of a 50-year-old woman.
A memorial of flowers and a small sign was placed at the roadside to commemorate Robin Adams, WTVR noted.
“Honestly I do not think anybody that was injured in that accident could have even known it was coming down it was just so quick,” Kathy Seay, who was driving the car directly behind Adams’ vehicle, told WTVR.