Inches mark the difference between life and death for three South Hill families during windstorm

SPOKANE, Wash. — When tragedy struck, Mike Whitney and his son jumped into the help.

The father and son saw the devastating moments when a tree fatally struck a woman’s car on the South Hill. They tried to get chainsaws to help clear the debris, but unfortunately knew something much bigger was needed to save her life.

“The tree was just covering the whole car, we couldn’t do anything to get them out. Tried getting into the back of the car, there was just no way,” Whitney said.

Whitney lived through the 2015 windstorm, but said it is clear Wednesday’s was much worse than that.

“Just the destruction and the amount of trees down… Comstock was pretty bad then, but I would guess there’s probably 20 trees down over there right now,” he said.

Comstock Park looks more like a maze now that the storm has passed through. Trees are scattered everywhere.

People living across the street woke up to the sound of the trees crashing down.

“We could hear the cracking,” said Ryan Jensen. “Kinda got the kids up and told them to get into the basement honestly.”

The Jensens are now counting their blessings, as the fallen trees somehow dodged their home and cars.

“We are very grateful the house didn’t get hit or obviously the cars are so close to the trees.. so we’re just body and souls together” Jensen said.

Another family on the South Hill is not feeling as lucky, as a massive tree crushed the middle of their house. Thankfully, no one was hurt as the tree smashed through their empty guest bedroom.

“At like 7:30, I was just sitting in bed and it was just, all of a sudden we hear this big bang and it literally felt like an earthquake,” said Tristan Wilson-Furi.

One neighborhood brought three very different outcomes, in a windstorm all too familiar to those who live there.