• WATCH: Man nearly crushed by falling tree branch while shoveling snow

    By: Jason Law


    WORCESTER, Mass. - On a street where parking is at a premium, and a good spot is hard to find, keeping up with the snow is a necessity. 

    That’s what Richard Vaczy was doing with his shovel Wednesday night. 

    "Did you know that that branch could come down at any point?" "I had no idea. I had no idea."

    It was the second time Vaczy had gone outside to clear off his sidewalk on Shelby Street in Worcester.

    A neighbor’s surveillance camera recorded what happened next.

    "I heard it cracking, then I just turned around and it almost hit me,” Vaczy told Boston 25 News.  

    From out of nowhere, a big heavy branch crashed down right where he was shoveling seconds before.

    "I know I was lucky. I could have got seriously hurt,” Vaczy said. “Thank God. I could have died. I could have been paralyzed or severely injured."


    A post shared by Boston 25 News (@boston25) on

    Vaczy is okay, but the car next to him took a big hit. The back window was smashed in. The force of the tree branch was enough to rip off the door handle the back door.

    The owner, Tyler Mills, lives right across the street. 

    "It was a mess,” he said about seeing the damage Thursday morning. 

    Mills knows how close his neighbor was to being crushed. He believes his car may have even helped shield him from the branches. 

    "By the grace of God, everything worked out alright for everybody, but yeah, it was scary,” he said. "It was a ticking time bomb and my car was the one that just happened to get hit." 

    There are tree branches down all over New England. Vaczy knows his random decision to move when he did saved him from becoming a sad casualty of the storm. 

    "I think God was on my side,” he said. “Maybe I'll have to play a lottery number or something.”

    MORE: Cambridge boat house sinking into Charles River under heavy snow

    Next Up: