Tamara Myers’ SUV was totaled when a tree in the Wissahickon Park fell on it. (Photo by Barbara Sherf)

by Barbara Sherf

Despite the frigid temperatures between the holidays, drivers slowed down at Seminole and Chestnut Hill avenues as a rotted tree in Fairmount Park had come down on Christmas Day, totaling a Land Rover belonging to Tamara Myers, president of Myers Constructs Inc., a design-build firm in Philadelphia.

Myers, and her partner Megan Hogan, had arrived by 9:30 a.m.to snag a spot at the Chestnut Hill Avenue parking area to take their 10-year-old border collie mix for a long hike in Fairmount Park.

“When we came back a few hours later we saw the police who would not let us through because of downed power lines and street lights,” Myers said. “They then asked if it was our vehicle and we said yes. We waited for several hours while PECO secured the area and a police officer helped us gather our personal possessions.

“We are so grateful that not only were we not hurt but also nobody else was. Nearby neighbors who had lost power were gracious with offers of rides home. It certainly brought the Christmas spirit out in all. That’s one of the reasons I love the Chestnut Hill and the Philly area.”

Myers’ business partner, Diane Menke, who lives in Flourtown, eventually, drove the group home. The business partners had gotten the same 2008 vehicles at the end of 2007. Myers believes hers is worth somewhere around $15,000, but is still waiting for the insurance company to settle with her.

Chestnut Hiller Sherry Heverly was one of numerous drivers and pedestrians to stop and take photos.

“I’m assuming there was nobody in there, and that is fortunate,” Heverly said. “Still it’s pretty scary to see, and I’m going to be more mindful of where I’m parking around some of these old, rotted trees. Someone could have been seriously injured or killed.”

Not only was the vehicle crushed, but a large branch went through the hood of the gray car bearing the MyersConstructs.com website logo and the slogan “A New Life for your Space, A Better Life for You.”

“We want to let the community know that nobody was hurt and thank the officers with Philadelphia Police Department’s 14th District, the PECO workers who had to come out on Christmas Day, and the nearby neighbors who were most gracious despite being without power,” Myers said.

Friends of the Wissahickon Executive Director Maura McCarthy had seen the tree and SUV damage over the holidays as well.

“Once the vehicle is removed, our team will take out what we can,” McCarthy said. “This is an old park with aging trees and when a tree falls it’s possible that personal property is affected. Fortunately nobody was hurt. That’s why we suggest to park users that they don’t use headphones because they need to be able to hear if a tree or limb is coming down. That’s part of the reality of being in nature.”

Mt. Airy resident Fran Cerra got out of his car to look and take photos.

“I used to have really old trees and had them all taken down several years ago,” said Cerra. “Seeing this, I’m glad I did.”

Barbara Sherf is a Flourtown resident who can be reached at barb@CommunicationsPro.com.