11-year-old dies, mom hurt in car vs tree crash

Tree blocked access to road, slowed response time

A tree fell on this car along SW Terwilliger near Iron Mountain Boulevard, killing 11-year-old Thomas William Graham and injuring his 50-year-old mother, Susan Graham, Dec. 11, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
A tree fell on this car along SW Terwilliger near Iron Mountain Boulevard, killing 11-year-old Thomas William Graham and injuring his 50-year-old mother, Susan Graham, Dec. 11, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — An 11-year-old boy died and his mother was seriously hurt after a tree fell and pinned them inside a car in Southwest Portland during a high wind storm in the region.

Firefighters were sent to SW Terwilliger Boulevard and Castleridge Lane around 5:30 p.m. to respond to the crash, officials said in a release.  But their response time was slowed by a tree blocking the road.

Investigators determined the tree landed on the car, which forced it to swerve and hit another tree head-on.

The youth, Thomas William Graham, and his mother Susan Graham were trapped in the car. He died before emergency responders could get him out, and Susan Graham was rushed to OHSU for treatment of injuries that may be life-threatening.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. No further information is available at this time.

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