As powerful storms swept through Georgia on Thursday, one man is lucky to be alive after a tree crushed his truck while he was inside.
Richard Byars was in his truck outside of his home in Locust Grove when he was taken by surprise by the fast moving storm.“I just pulled up to get my wife, get her out of here. [It] just came all of the sudden, stuff started blowing. They said the tornado was on the other side of the interstate. I figured I had a little bit of time because it was four miles south,” Byars told WSBTV News.
Before Byars could get himself to safety, a huge tree fell on his truck pinning him under the steering wheel. “The tree and steering wheel was on my leg, so, I mean, it more or less crushed my leg. The only that’s broke is my hand and rib,” he told the outlet.
Richard Byars says the tree left him pinned inside the truck, but he only ended up breaking his hand and a rib. https://t.co/OPcWQ80Nfg
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) January 13, 2023
Byars remained pinned in his truck until first responders arrived with the jaws of life, but even then Byars’ situation was precarious. “I leaned over to move a bag, and when I did, everything just come down. All I could do was start praying, ‘God help me,’” he said. (RELATED: 72-Year Old Man Found Dead Under 120-Foot Cypress Tree)
Even Byars’ son Joey Huggins helped in the rescue effort, clearing away other fallen trees so the firefighters could get to his father. “I was stuck up at the top and one of the firefighters just knocked on my window and asked could they throw their bunch of gear in the back of my truck and they’ll clear the path for me to come down here, and so they jumped in the back of my truck and I drove down as they cut trees out of the road,”Huggins told the outlet.
Though Byars escaped with just a broken wrist and rib from the terrifying ordeal, he was struck by how very close he came to death, according to the outlet.