EAST RIDGE, TN. (WRCB)- A Hamilton County man and his son barely escaped with their lives, when a gigantic tree came crashing down on top of them at an East Ridge home.
The two men had to go to the hospital because of their injuries.
Channel 3 talked with the homeowner's grandsons who were out cleaning up the mess. They say the fast-moving wall of wind that blew through the Tennessee Valley Thursday night caught their grandfather and uncle off guard.
"It's crazy! I just can't believe it crushed the car like that. It's a mess!"
Joe 'Tip' Stafford and his son Clay were outside his home on Douglas Drive when the tidal wave of wind knocked over a towering oak tree in his back yard.
"They were walking down the driveway, Tip and son were, and just the tree fell on them. It hit the car first, thankfully," says Ashlee Crawford.
The tree pinned the two men, with the van cushioning the blow.
"I think if it would have just hit them first, that it would have been a lot worse. I bet the car slowed it down some," she says.
"I didn't think it was going to be that bad, but then I heard what happened to him. And when I came over here I couldn't believe it," says Seth Roy.
"It shattered his knee and he has some head injuries," says Crawford.
"When you see something like that, that crushes a car like that, you're real thankful that they're still alive after it hit them," says Roy.
Both Crawford and her boyfriend, along with other neighbors and family, are helping clear the debris left behind.
She describes her grandmother's neighbor as a great guy. A man who has a lot of people pulling for him.
"I just hope he gets better. He takes care of a lot of stuff, he's always been there for me. I just hope everything works out good," says Crawford.
"My prayers and thoughts go out to him and his family. And I wish him the best. And I just hope they recover soon," says Roy.
Tip was in surgery Friday afternoon at Erlanger to have his shattered knee replaced.
His son was released Thursday night and has already made his way back home to Nashville.