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Tree that crushed car had heart rot

The tree that crushed a woman’s car in Charlotte on Thursday had heart rot, or internal decay, the city arborist says.

High winds contributed to the incident, city arborist Don McSween said Friday.

The 60-foot red maple fell on a car that had been headed uptown on Seventh Street in the Elizabeth neighborhood. The car was stopped in traffic Thursday afternoon when the tree fell.

Driver Diane Copeland, 59, was discharged from Carolinas Medical Center, the hospital said Friday.

Elizabeth is among the older neighborhoods near the city center with high numbers of aging and sometimes hazardous trees, the Observer reported last month.

McSween said he found no external signs, such as mushrooms on its trunk, that would indicate the tree had decayed.

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