Video: Tree falls on Iowa police officer during traffic stop

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A police officer in south-central Iowa escaped with only minor injuries after a tree fell on top of him while he was making a traffic stop.

It happened in the town of Centerville on Wednesday night, the Daily Iowegian reports, and was recorded on the dashboard camera inside officer Jeremy Veach’s squad car.

Veach had pulled over a vehicle on a city street at about 11:16 p.m. Wednesday. He was standing next to the SUV, talking with the driver, when a large tree suddenly fell down. The tree, which was apparently rotted out, landed on the hood of the vehicle and hit officer Veach, knocking him to the ground, according to the newspaper.

A reserve police officer who was on patrol with Veach called for backup. The two officers helped the driver -- the only occupant in the car -- to safety. She suffered minor injuries, Radio Iowa reports. She had been pulled over because her headlights were not on, but was not issued a citation.

Officer Veach is expected to fully recover.

Centerville Chief of Police Tom Demry called it a freak accident, and said Veach is fortunate the SUV took the brunt of the tree's impact. The vehicle sustained major damage but an estimate is not yet available.

Demry said this incident is “living proof” that there's no such thing as a routine traffic stop, according to the Daily Iowegian.

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