Trooper injured when tree falls on car

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

LAUREL FORK — A trooper assigned to the Virginia State Police office in Galax is recovering from injuries he suffered on Tuesday when a large oak tree fell on top of his car.

The state police reported that Sgt. Tony Zyvoloski was traveling on U.S. 58 west in the Laurel Fork area of Carroll County near the intersection of Virginia 644 when the freak accident occurred. The trooper covered Carroll and Grayson counties.

The tree on a bank above the road apparently broke near the base and fell on Zyvoloski’s car at about 7:10 p.m. Police could not attribute the incident to weather, as there was no storm or wind in the area.

After the tree — described as being about two to three feet in diameter — struck the roof of his car, Zyvoloski lost control of the vehicle, crossed to the opposite side of the road and struck an embankment.

Zyvoloski, a member of the state police’s accident reconstruction team, was on his way to the scene of a double fatality wreck in Giles County when the accident occurred.

Members of the Laurel Fork Volunteer Fire Department had to cut the trooper out of the smashed car.

Personnel from the Hillsville Fire Department also assisted at the scene.

State Police First Sgt. Mike Musser said Wednesday that Zyvoloski was airlifted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for spinal injuries. Musser described the trooper as conscious and responsive at the scene.

Musser noted that this type of crash sounds rare, but troopers worked a very similar — and fatal — crash in Grayson County a couple of years ago.