- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 8, 2012

The week had been difficult enough for the Weinberger family after a rare derecho storm knocked out power to their Bethesda home for four nights and an enormous oak tree had been toppled by the wind into their roof.

And that was before a heavy duty crane tipped over in their yard.

“We had a lovely driveway, a beautiful lawn you could host Wimbledon on,” said Lauren Weinberger with a laugh, as she chatted by phone on Sunday. “We were able to right the crane and now we’re just dealing with fixing the crane itself. It’s still leaking oil, and I think I have a ruined driveway and a lawn that looks like two trucks were on it.”

Though the June 30 storm was the catalyst for the crane, things really got interesting on Saturday, Ms. Weinberger explained.

The storm’s strong winds knocked over a “major, major oak tree,” causing it to fall through the roof of the home on Bent Branch Road and into a bedroom. The family had been away for the weekend, and when they returned, hired a crane crew to take the tree down.

“Unfortunately the crane that came to take the tree down … the operator didn’t realize the tree was too big for the crane,” Ms. Weinberger said.

The crane lost balance and tipped over as it attempted to haul the tree out of the home, sending one crew member jumping to safety, injuring another and lodging itself in the Weinbergers’ garage. It landed on the Weinbergers’ yard as well as a next door neighbor’s.

The felled truck also started leaking diesel fluid.

“My husband’s concern was the danger to our house and to everybody else,” Ms. Weinberger said.

The crane fell around 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, Ms. Weinberger said. By Sunday, the crane crew had returned to right the equipment and get back to work.

The family remained in good spirits. The next order of business is getting the tree actually out of the home and working on insurance quotes.

“No one was seriously hurt, no one died,” Ms. Weinberger said. “Getting the crane righted, it’s all part of the process. These are hard working men. They were terrific.”

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