Lincolnton family nearly killed when massive oak falls

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October 31, 2006

A Lincolnton dad was nearly killed by a tree that also came dangerously close to his kids.

It's a day Larry Baggs and his family will never forget.

One minute Larry and three of his kids were outside together, enjoying the day.

The next, they were buried alive under the limbs of a massive oak tree.

"You think, 'What's the last thing I said? Did I tell them I love them?' It's just heart wrenching," said Larry's daughter Lyndsie. "The Lord knew we needed our daddy, I'm so thankful."

19-year-old Lyndsie was teary-eyed and emotional after seeing her father, older brother, 7-year-old sister and 3-year-old brother survive the ordeal.

In photos taken shortly after the accident, the crumpled blue truck is barely visible, buried beneath the massive 100 foot tree.

"We heard a loud pop," Larry recalled. "I was on one side, Chandler was on the other, and we both started running. In two or three seconds it was down on top of us."

The family was out splitting wood near the 150-year-old oak tree two weeks ago when it came crashing down.

"I could feel it crushing the bones in the back. I fell on the ground and couldn't breathe," Larry said.

Short of breath, thinking he was paralyzed, all he could think about was what happened to his two small kids.

They were in the truck.

7-year-old Ansley and three-year-old Braxton were playing in the truck when the tree came down, just inches from where it landed.

"It came down right in between them," Larry said. "No other way to say it than a miracle of God."

He says without the truck...they all might have been dead...

Instead he came out with three broken vertebrae in his spine and one broken rib.

"I don't know why some people make it and some don't, but I'm very thankful," Larry said.

Larry had severe injuries to his back, but doctors say he'll probably be back to normal in three months.

All this created a big financial mess too. Their insurance doesn't cover the accident, and the truck is totaled.

But members of a Baptist church in Lincolnton will have a fundraising dinner in a few weeks to help pay for the medical expenses.