Inches From Death

Massive tree branch crashes into cab driver's windshield

By Jessica Greene
|  Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010  |  Updated 12:47 PM PDT
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Falling Branch Nearly Kills Driver

NBC Bay Area

A fallen redwood tree branch landed within inches of Mohammad Nizam's driver's seat.

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Falling Branch Nearly Kills Driver

One driver's life was saved by inches when a tree limb fell on to his car.
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A Fremont cab driver came just inches away from death when part of a redwood tree crashed into his windshield while he was driving around in Menlo Park over the weekend.

Mohammad Nizam, 61, has cuts on his head and hand and suffered severe neck pain -- but he's okay, considering what might have been.

Police say a strong gust of wind snapped off a 20-foot section of a redwood tree, causing it to drop 80 feet below and right into Nizam's windshield. The fallen branch crashed through the windshield, sending leaves and debris into the front seat. Part of the branch ended up lodged in the passenger seat.

Nizam's car then careened through neighbor David Eline's property.

Eline recalls the three big cracks he heard: "The first one was the tree breaking, the second one was the tree impacting the car, the third was him hitting the fence and driving underneath the other fence."

Nizam knows he escaped death. But he's not thinking much about his long-term future. He's just happy to be alive and looking forward to being healthy and well and spending time with his wife and five kids. Because, as he says, "life is very short."

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