This was the case for one family in Johnstown, PA on Monday June 23, 2014. The family was riding along Route 403 when a tree fell onto their vehicle. The car then veered off to the left and crashed into a utility pole. The accident resulted in two children fatalities. The other occupants of the vehicle were the children’s mother, who is pregnant, her boyfriend and her two other children who were all treated for injuries after the accident.

A Somerset County police chief says they believe dry rot caused the large tree to fall on top of the family’s vehicle. It has not been released who is responsible for the maintenance of the specific tree. In an instance such as this, it is likely an investigation will be done to see why the tree was left neglected.

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It is a property owner’s responsibility to make sure any trees in their yard are taken care of and not a threat to anyone. Trees should be inspected regularly for disease and damage. Overhanging bushes or trees that obstruct a person’s view of a road can also put a property owner at fault if an accident were to occur.

Property owners must keep their premises safe at all times. In a previous blog post, we spoke about a woman who was seriously injured due to a neglected sidewalk. If a property owner fails to keep their premises safe for the public, it is likely a claim to recover damages will be made by the injured party.

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If you or a loved one were injured in an accident due to a neglected property, you may have a premise liability claim. Contact an experienced attorney to see what compensation may be available to you.

Source:, “Police chief says dry rot caused tree to fall on car and kill 2 sisters”

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