Driver injured by falling tree on I-5: ‘I really don’t have any memory of it at all’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SEATTLE -- The driver of a car crushed by a falling tree on southbound I-5 was upgraded to satisfactory condition Thursday, but she said she is still in pain and "sort of disoriented."

"I don't know what happened," said Mary E. Sabetto, 54, of Shoreline, from her hospital bed in Harborview Medical Center. "All I know is what people have told me. I really don't have any memory of it at all."

Sabetto was driving her red Prius southbound on I-5 in Fife when she had to come to a stop due to heavy traffic. A large tree on the side of the highway came crashing down, totaling her car and leaving her with serious head injuries.

The day after the incident, Sabetto said she still feels "out of it, sort of disoriented, in pain -- for sure."

A second car was also hit by the tree, but the driver was uninjured, State Patrol troopers said.

The State Patrol listed the cause of the accident as "high wind."

WSDOT says maintenance crews are out on the roads daily, looking for problematic trees up and down I-5.  In fact, WSDOT says crews recently took down a bunch of trees near Southcenter Mall as a precaution.

Q13 News Chief Meteorologist Walter Kelley says it’s been a record-setting wet winter and spring. Seattle is measuring almost 45 inches of rain between October and April, making it the wettest period since records began.

In March, arborist John Zehrn warned of the dangers of falling and diseased trees after a 17-year-old girl was struck and killed by a tree along a trail in Snohomish County.

“A tree right next to you, sure you see that, but you have to realize that there`s a tree that`s a 110 feet tall that`s 90 feet into the forest. And what is that going to do when it falls over,” said Zehrn.

Driver seriously injured when tree falls on car on I-5 in Fife (VIDEO)