- Group hopes to help families who lost a child
- Children and adults with disabilities participate in summer camp
- Celebrating and reflecting: Quecreek Mine Rescue 12 years later
- Golden eagle rehabbed, released back into wild
- Family fed up with turnpike motorists using backyard as bathroom
- Car ditched in Rockwood Borough reported stolen in Illinois
- Ohio man found shot near turnpike in Somerset killed himself
- No foul play in death of Windber man hit by train
- Man killed in Somerset Co. ATV accident
- Freight train strikes, kills Somerset Co. man
- Russia's Severstal selling US plants for $2.3B
- Somerset Trust bank president proud of community
- Somerset Co. man fighting blight in neighborhood
- Camp helps kids with diabetes overcome obstacles, make new friends
- Somerset County fire department improves fire protection rating
- 6 local airports receiving funding
- Canadian company buys PBS Coals
- Somerset Co. woman on probation in child cancer fundraiser scam
- Local V.F.W. asking for donations for care packages
- Strong storms cause damage in Somerset Co.
- Arborist points to hundreds of reasons trees fall
- Body found along Turnpike in Somerset Co.
- Meyersdale blaze ruled arson, plagues problems for borough
- Crews battle late night fire in Somerset Co.
- Flames, smoke swarm Meyerdale building
- Man injures officers after allegedly drinking and driving
- Somerset Co. man facing additional charges
- Firefighters battle blaze at Somerset Co. home
- Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown selling bishop's home
- Family of crash victim asking for prayers
- People in Conemaugh Twp. say rotted trees have always been a problem
- Police identify victims after Monday's fatal crash
- 'Freak accident' kills two young children, injures four others
- 2 children killed, 4 others injured in 'freak' accident
- Somerset Co. roadway closed due to fatal crash
- Somerset Co. fire department bringing back holiday celebration
- Man from Somerset Co. missing, found
- Walking in her shoes raises awareness for domestic violence
- Windber baby dies 20 days after mother is shot
- Somerset Co. baby dies weeks after emergency delivery after mother was shot
- Somerset Co. man recalls rescue following Chilean miners' viral video
- 29th annual WJAC-TV Donor Day underway
- Woman looks past disability, adopts injured dog from shelter
- Police: Bold burglar walks past victims to steal items
- Commission OKs another boost in Pa. Turnpike tolls
- Residents in Somerset Co. could lose lake as resource
- Annual Miners Fest held in Somerset Co.
- Accident in Somerset Co. has one person flown to hospital
- Evacuation in place for residents in part of Somerset Co.
- Hearing continued for man accused of killing pregnant girlfriend
- Crews searching for missing man at Ohiopyle State Park
- Somerset Co. business equipment damaged
- Man accused of killing girlfriend explains it as an accident
- Baby delivered despite mother's death
- Man accused of stealing from business he worked at
- Woman shot and killed in Somerset Co.
- United Way gives grants to 25 agencies for 2014-2015
- Rockwood home damaged after grill catches fire
- Windber Fire members complete 'cold water challenge' for charity
- Police: Pickup truck loses brakes, smashes into police cruiser
- Students honor past band director with final march
- Somerset Co. teacher teaching students to make a difference
- Windber Fire Department and Northern EMS get new equipment
- Fed up neighbors look to take back town with watch group
- Battling prescription drug trafficking an ongoing effort
- Several area schools score high on state performance profile
- Church honors those who fought in Civil War
- Stepfather allegedly stabs son after argument
- Father Lewandowski suspended due to sexual allegations with minor
- Father Lewandowski suspended due to sexual allegations with minor
- Project hopes to feed the hungry and employ wounded warriors
- Hillshire deal means new Snyder of Berlin owner
- Ham, ice cream stolen from Somerset Co. store
- Officials hope Indian Lake refills in time for boating season
- Corbett visits Somerset Hospital to celebrate grant
- Facility for overweight children to open in Windber
- Push Out the Pusher: Community asked to help combat drugs
- $11K in gold found during Turnpike vehicle search
- Officials: Heroin that caused 12 overdoses did not contain fentanyl
- Greene Co. prison escapee captured in Somerset Co.
- SCI Greene escapee returns to Somerset County over the weekend
- Music program cut from Somerset Co. school
- Man killed after concrete barrier falls on him
- Man serving time for Somerset Co. thefts escapes from corrections center
- The 9th Congressional District candidates face off
- Car show in Somerset Co. benefits Boys and Girls Club
- Three arrested for allegedly having drug paraphernalia
- Police: Alleged heroin supplier turns himself in
- Police searching for man who allegedly sells
- Somerset Co. man jailed on charges he stalked ex-witness
- 12 heroin overdoses in 72 hours linked to same batch
- Two trucks collide, close Somerset Co. roadway
- Man sentenced in death of Somerset Co. baby
- Somerset Welfare League hosts annual jewelry bash
- Somerset Co. man prompts manhunt Thursday night
- Volunteers planting trees at Flight 93 site
- Judge rules against Somerset Co. district in coal tax case
- USS Somerset arrives in San Diego port
- Threat of dirty needles cancels Meyersdale egg hunt
- ACRP anniversary has cofounders enthusiastic
- Another bust on PA turnpike nets 160 bricks of heroin
- Windber girl thanked for willingness to help, include others
- No injuries reported after train, tractor-trailer collide
- Propane truck crashes, forces evacuation of western Md. town
- Train, tractor-trailer collide in Somerset
- Woman pleads guilty to misdemeanor after stealing from girl with cancer
- Memorial set up in Somerset Co. Park
- 2 arrested, $30K in heroin seized along turnpike in Somerset Co.
- Century-old building, home burned in early morning fire
- Allegheny Adventure Expo planned for Johnstown area
- NJ fugitive arrested in Boswell after 2 decades on the run
- Somerset Co. bank robbed
- Windber student sends caring message to classmates on playground
- Victims of sexual abuse encouraged to speak out
- Accident on PA Turnpike sent one worker to the hospital
- Nonprofit organization distributing 40,000 books
- Sage's Army talks heroin addiction to Somerset students
- Judge: Flight 93 site correctly valued by panel
- Man who killed himself had history of indecent exposure
- Hospital adding child advocacy center for victims of abuse
- Good Samaritan: 'I'm no hero'
- Bedford Co. turnpike closure planned
- Victims in Cambria Co. attempted murder-suicide identified
- Police: Investigation now an attempted homicide-suicide
- Police remain on scene of Cambria Co. shooting, standoff
- Somerset Co. house destroyed in fire
- Three people escape Somerset Co. house fire
- Stoystown man accused of brutally beating Marine
- Man leads police on high-speed chase in Somerset Co.
- Conemaugh Health System announces partnership with Tennessee-based company
- Conemaugh Health System to announce partnership
- 14-year-old assaulted in Somerset Walmart
- Two people killed in Somerset crash
- Maple tour successful, according to organizers
- State education funding highlighted in Cambria Co. hearing
- Somerset Co. teachers settle gender bias suit
- Police: Woman allegedly steals $2,000 from Hidden Valley Ski Shop
- One injured in train-car crash in Somerset Co.
- USS Somerset commissioned Saturday
- 7 kilos of raw heroin seized on PA Turnpike
- Fire crews battle flames at Somerset Co. building
- Navy preparing to commission USS Somerset
- Thousands generated from lodging tax, distributed to Somerset businesses
- Heroin: A story of grief and hope
- Somerset Co. mobile food bank provides meals from a trailer
Arborist points to hundreds of reasons trees fall
Updated: Tuesday, July 1 2014, 06:39 PM EDT
By: Maria Miller
HOLSOPPLE, Pa. --- A tree expert said nobody is to blame for two trees falling on moving vehicles in Somerset County in just a week's time.
Police called both incidents "freak accidents." But believe it or not, they're not the only occurrences in Pennsylvania this week. A man was just killed Monday night in Warren County when a tree hit his car.
"(PennDOT) tries to keep a regular maintenance interval or schedule so to speak, but they can't be everywhere at once and this is obviously a big problem," said Ryan Beeghley.
The Pennyslvania Department of Transportation has special funds and money set aside to take care of rotted trees, but with thousands upon thousands of miles of roadway throughout the state, and even more trees lining them, it's nearly impossible for the state, or any organization, to continually keep a proactive watch -- not to mention there are hundreds of reasons why a tree can fall.
"There are tell-tale signs as far as what is hazardous from root flare to taper deformities on up the line to the case spots and cankers," said Beeghly.
Beeghly is a certified arborist and local tree expert and he knows his business. On Tuesday, he was able to point to any tree along the road and find something wrong that could cause it to topple over.
"Usually you will find some hazard present within any tree at any given point in time," Beeghly said.
Pointing to a nearby locust tree, he said, "In this case it would be both dead limbs up top as well as this co-dominant stem."
He can't say for sure what caused a tree in Conemaugh Township to fall onto a passing car last week, killing two young girls and injuring their pregnant mother and her boyfriend. Nor can he say what caused a similar accident near Boswell Monday. But he does know why the trees fell towards the road.
"Trees are naturally phototrophic. They want to grow towards available sunlight and being that obviously above the roadway is available sunlight, they're going to have a tendency to want to grow that way," Beeghly said.
But why they snap and fall could be any number of reasons from rotted roots to common pests like the emerald ash borer. In our region, Beeghly said storm damage is mostly to blame.
"Severe weather is probably the biggest deciding factor in this area," Beeghly said. "If a severe storm were to come through the area, a lot of times you'll see your trees come down two or three or four days afterwards."
And that's why he said after a tragic accident involving a fallen tree, it's hard told to place blame or fault on any entity.
"You're going to have a tough time proving negligence on any sort of level. Trees are a product of nature. Trees fall in nature," Beeghly said. "The roadways weren't put there by nature; they were put there by man. And for that reason it's kind of hart to point a finger so to speak."
When people drive, they're obviously looking at the road, not the trees. But anyone who does notice a tree that look bad and is certain will fall over, Beeghly said calling PennDOT is a good start because they will usually, at the very least, take a look.