Local Man Lucky to Be Alive

Local Man Lucky to Be Alive

August 8, 2002

Jim Lafley is thankful that he is still alive. Last week’s storm caused a tree to crash around his car. He walked away from it without a mark.

Lafley is from Stratford Landing. He was in front of Dan Cummins’ house on Alden Street in Waynewood Thursday night picking Cummins up for a meeting.

Lafley was backing up his Honda so that Cummins could easily get into the car from the brick walk. When the wind picked up, something stopped him from backing up any farther. That decision may have saved his life — it certainly saved his car.

Within seconds of the wind’s picking up, a tree in Cummins' front yard came out of the ground, roots and all. The main section crashed directly behind Lafley’s car, while another large piece fell directly in front of him. The tree blocked the entire roadway.

Determined to get to his meeting, Lafley left his car there, and he and Cummins called somebody else to take them to their meeting.

By the time he returned the next morning, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) had already come and cleared the road; but with the tree still surrounding Lafley’s car, the enormity of the situation hit him.

“I think I’m lucky to be alive. Last night it was like a bad movie, but now I realize I narrowly escaped being hit,” he said.