Tree falls on car causing five car pileup on Hwy. 61

Fallen tree on Hwy. 61
Fallen tree on Hwy. 61

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A chain reaction collision ended in a five car pileup Thursday morning on Highway 61.

According to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, the accident was between Magnolia Gardens and Middleton Place.

No one was hurt and it took about 2 ½ to clear the tree and cars from the road.

Live oaks draped in Spanish moss line Highway 61 from West Ashley to Summerville.

"The trees are beautiful, but safety is more important here I believe. I truly believe that," said Joan Collins.

Tree experts say trees can fall sick from disease, tumble down because of soggy grounds caused by the summer rain and even improper trimming.

Collins has been driving on Highway 61 for more than a decade. She says getting down the highway is still a challenge.

Collins said, "By the time I'm finished with my hairdresser it's dark and it's really scary. There are no lights there at all."

Collins says the dark road and big trees make for a bad match for drivers.

"When trees are down you can't see it. When you're going around a curve you can't see anything on that road at all."

Experts say during bad weather the best thing to do is get rid of the cell phones, slow down and put some distance between you and the car in front of you.

Harold Carter said, "I get concerned when there's a heavy storm, but when you get this weather I think these natural disasters are just going to occur."

Carter isn't bothered by the risk of falling trees even after one fell on top of a car and another sits broken on the side of the road. It's on the property of Magnolia Plantation.

"Well you know nature has its own time. It's a very scenic highway and I've always enjoyed the view and that's the southern part of the lowcountry," said Carter.

Highway 61 is an historic highway and the trees are protected.

The State Department of Transportation shares the responsibility of maintaining the road.

A spokesman said with all the rain we've had, they've received more calls than usual about trees in the road.

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