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Neighbors rush to help man pinned in his home by a massive tree

Updated: Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Neighbors rush to help man pinned in his home by a massive tree story image

SHELBYVILLE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A West Michigan man is recovering from his injuries after being rescued by his neighbors.

About an hour after heavy rain and strong winds rolled through Shelbyville on Monday afternoon a massive tree fell on a home, pinning the homeowner inside.

The victim is Steve Kolean, his neighbors say he and his wife Marsha were at their summer home when a massive tree destroyed it in seconds, forcing them into action.

“I heard a crack and I was on the deck,” said John Bomnbacht, “so I immediately jumped up and started running as it was falling.”

Bomnbacht wasn’t the only person who knew something had gone terribly wrong, so did longtime neighbor Dan Drummond.

“I jumped up and looked out the window and I seen it hit their house,” said Drummond.

“It looked like a Hollywood movie,” said Bob Wykoski.

“Did you have time to actually think about the implications of what you were seeing?” asked Newschannel 3’s Jared Werksma.

“Yeah,” said Wykoski, “I knew he was in there, I knew she was in there.”

The neighbors knew they had to act.

“I ran out the door and hollered to them and saw her climbing through the wreckage and I heard him yelling for help,” said Wykoski.

All three men rushed into the badly damaged home.

“He was bleeding and stuff and his head was under the tree,” said Drummond. “A broken 2 x 4 was right across his neck.”

The men say they weren’t sure what to do, but as the house groaned all around them, they knew they didn’t have much time to do something.

“Looking around and above t see if anything else might come down,” said Bomnbacht. “I was concerned about the ceiling and the roof.”

Adrenaline pumping, they went to work.

“John and Rick and I we got ahold of it and broke it off,” said Drummond.

Together, they were able to pull their neighbor to safety; something they had feared would be impossible only moments before.

“I thought, I don’t know how anybody is going to live through that,” said Wykoski.

The Wayland Fire Department says Kolean was rushed to the hospital with what they believe to be non life-threatening injuries. As soon as we get an update on his condition, we’ll let you know.

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