A freak accident where a tree fell on a car left two sisters dead and several other family members injured. Ryleigh and Macayla Freiwald died when the car they were in was suddenly crushed by a falling tree. CBS Pittsburgh shared the details on Tuesday.
The two young girls were in a Pontiac Grand Am Monday with their two younger sisters, their mother Ashley Lichty and Lichty's significant other Jason Himebaugh. Though neighbors indicate that the tree had seemed fine the day before the accident, an accident reconstruction indicated that the fallen tree was rotted at its base. As the family drove down the Conemaugh Township, Pa. road, the tree fell and crushed the car.
Ryleigh, 8, and Macayla, 6, died of blunt force trauma. Their mother, who is eight months pregnant, the two younger girls and Himebaugh were all hospitalized. Reports after the accident indicate that Lichty, 26, was in the intensive care unit and it seems that Himebaugh was as well. The mother of the girls is said to have gotten out of the car after the accident, pleading for help, while Himebaugh was unconscious in the vehicle after the tree fell on the car.
WPXI reports that Paramedic Adam Trabold, who was on the scene, described this accident as “a 9 out of a 10 on a scale” in terms of how awful it was. After the tree fell on the car, the driver lost control and crashed into a nearby telephone pole. Bystanders tried to free the family as they waited for emergency responders, but there seemingly wasn't much they could do.
The wreckage of the 2004 Pontiac Grand Am is heartbreaking to see, and some would say it seems almost a miracle anybody survived the accident. The two younger girls, 5-year-old Ciara and 3-year-old Lillie, were released on Tuesday. A GoFundMe page has been started to help raise funds for the funerals of Ryleigh and Macayla.
Posts on the GoFundMe page indicate that Jason has been released from the hospital, and Ashley is due to be released shortly. The unborn baby apparently is still doing well. The family obviously is devastated by the loss of the two girls after the tree fell on the car, but the community is stepping up and working on helping them find a way to move forward.