Tree limb crushes car, killing driver

- A Pasco County man is dead after a tree limb comes crashing down on top of his car in Hillsborough County.

It happened early Thursday morning near Hillsborough Avenue and Orient Road.

William Vantassel was a 36-year-old father of two. Family members called him a good man who loved his family.

Vantassel's brother spoke to us off camera--and says William was on his way to work Thursday just before 4 a.m. when a tree limb came crashing down onto his Nissan Altima. Hillsborough County deputies say a storm must have knocked down the limb overnight--but it stayed lodged in some powerlines.

Investigators say when Vantassel drove by at Orient Road near Hillsborough Avenue - the limb fell about 10 feet. Vantassel died right there.

He leaves behind a wife and two teenage daughters.

The freak accident has neighbors paying closer attention to other trees on their street with large limbs dangling in the direction of homes or over the road.

Neighbor Floyd Burns says the homeowners here did maintain the tree--having trimmed it at least once in recent memory.

 “My heart goes out to his family. No one would expect something like that. That early in the morning going to work or nobody could ever foretell something like that would happen,” Burns said.

Insurance experts say there's no exact formula to determine who is responsible if a tree falls and causes damage. Each situation is handled based on its unique set of circumstances. Anyone worried about a problem tree should call a tree trimming service to have it inspected.

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