Strangers help when strong winds split tree, burying prized Mustang during massive storm

ST. GEORGE — A large section of a tree fell on a St. George resident’s vehicle after the trunk was split apart by strong winds during the storm that moved over Southern Utah with a vengeance Saturday evening. It’s what happened after the incident that Sandie Divan found most remarkable.

A tree crashes down on Sandie Divan’s treasured yellow mustang during a heavy storm that hit the region Saturday. St. George, Utah, Aug. 12, 2017 | Photo by Sandie Divan, St. George News

As the storm continued to rage Divan was inside her residence on West 400 North near Diagonal Street shortly before 8 p.m. when she heard a loud crack coming from the direction of her front yard.

Divan ran through the garage and once outside noticed a large tree branch that appeared to have crashed onto her driveway, quickly realizing that her yellow Ford Mustang was buried underneath.

Strong winds created a split in the tree’s trunk, causing an enormous branch to break away and crash on top of the car, bringing a large section of the tree’s trunk along with it. The falling debris partially blocked West 400 North near the corner of Diagonal Street as well.

“I was telling my husband that we need to get the garbage cans in because the wind was really picking up, and that’s when I heard the loudest ‘crack’, and knew whatever happened it was going to be bad,” Divan said.

Neighbors came and helped the Divan family chop up and remove the tree that fell on Sandie Divan’s yellow mustang during a heavy storm that hit the region Saturday. St. George, Utah, Aug. 12, 2017 | Photo by Sandie Divan, St. George News

Within minutes several individuals that witnessed the incident came running towards the residence to help, she said, and one even brought along a chainsaw which was used to cut the the trunk into sections that were then removed and cleared away from the car.

The group continued to clear branches and debris from the driveway until a path was cleared enough to move the Mustang to a safer location.

“I find it totally amazing that strangers came to help get my car out from under the tree,” Divan said. “I didn’t know any of them.”

It was only after the car was moved that Divan was able to take stock of the damage, and realized it was limited to two small dents on the hood and damage to the vehicle’s rear fin.

Divan also said that the car is special because it took her 15 years to be in a position to afford a Mustang, and it took “forever” to find one in the perfect shade of yellow.

The lack of damage after being buried by hundreds of pounds of bark, branches and wood could not be rationally explained, she said.

The only explanation that makes sense, she said, was printed on the Mustang’s license plate, “JESUSIS”.

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  • Rob83 August 13, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Yes, awesome story! God is good =)

  • Mike P. August 14, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I think I would have parked my “prized” Mustang in the garage.

    • Sandie August 14, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      Normally it is in the garage. My sister that lives in Arizona has all of her stuff in my garage since she was basically homeless and she needed a place to stay and a place to put her things. Needless to say, I let her know that her stuff needs to be picked up or it needs to go to a storage unit. She moved back to Arizona, but a lot of her stuff is still in my garage. M car needs to go back in there instead of it being a storage locker.

  • Sandie August 14, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    This is my car, normally it would be in my garage. I know it isn’t an expensive car, but this particular car has a lot of sentimental things about it. It took me a long time to find this particular car, in the right color. My sister had her stuff stored in there so my car was where it was since she was homeless and hand no place to put her things. She moved to AZ, needless to say, she got a call from me and I told her she needs to get her stuff out of there, lol. This could have been so much worse and I am very thankful, But she was told to come and get her stuff asap. Sunday we went back out there to assess the damage to the tree and found that it was actually hit by lightening and then the strong winds pushed it over. There are many power lines right by this tree and had it not been for the wind, the tree would have gone onto Diagonal and caused and accident and it would have hit the power lines and the house. That tree is the biggest tree and over 50 yrs old. My husband was headed out the door when the hail hit and the winds kicked up. He was getting ready to bring the garbage cans into the garage so they wouldn’t go rolling down the street. The cans were right there where the tree fell and where the lightening stroked. He would have been hit by the lightening and the tree would have came down on him instead of my car. My car is just a car and I would much rather it destroyed than anyone hurt. That was a close call, so like I said, my sister got a call to get her stuff out of my garage or store it somewhere else. My car is going back in there.

    We didn’t know most of those who helped. We only knew our neighbor across the street. It was a very humbling event that I will always remember. God had his hands in all of this. I want to thank everyone who helped with getting the tree off my car, cutting the branches and helping the way you did. We are very grateful. I have my own blog and I wrote about this.

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