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Family's first camping trip ends within minutes after tree falls on their van


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AMERICAN FORK — One family's first camping trip together ended moments after it began when a tree fell onto their minivan a few minutes after they had exited the vehicle.

Adam Carson, his wife, and four children, were looking forward to taking their first camping trip as a family on Friday at Tibble Fork Reservoir up American Fork Canyon.

Carson said the family arrived at their campsite at about 3 p.m., and he and his kids left their van to clean up the site before setting up camp. His wife stayed in the passenger seat to feed their infant baby, and then joined the rest of the family about 15 minutes after they had arrived.

Three minutes later, Carson said, he heard a tree falling. He turned in the direction of the sound just in time to watch the tree slam down on their van.

“It was just funny because no one gets to experience that normally,” he said. “Everyone was safe, I had good insurance, and what a cool experience to have.”

The tree fell on the hood of the minivan, pushing the windshield in roughly six inches. One of the tree's branches went through the windshield and into the dashboard. Carson doesn’t think his wife or baby would have been hurt had they been in the car when the tree fell. But, he said, the windshield's broken tempered glass that was sharp enough to cut him while he was inspecting the damage, could have cut his wife or baby.

While Carson was waiting for help from a local sheriff, more than 100 passersby stopped to offer help, learn what happened to the van, take pictures and video, and even feed him dinner.

Forest service officials were not able to help the Carsons remove the tree from their car or their car from the forest. The family still needs to help removing the tree and getting their car out the canyon. But Carson said he’s not concerned about the details and called the tree smash “the most exciting and coolest inconvenience we've ever had!”

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Freeman Stevenson

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