It was a test of strength that would top the bill of any sporting competition. The 150-year-old, 20ft oak vs the 50tonne, 90ft crane.
The young crane would have been firm favourite with the bookies but the mighty oak, though ageing and sickly, had one last fight in it – yanking the crane off its wheels and hurling the young pretender to the ground with the shudder of a mighty branch.
Alas, Kevin and Michelle McCarthy’s house stood underneath the titanic struggle. And, when part of the tree broke off, the crane was ‘shockloaded’ and promptly collapsed on the McCarthys’ home in Santa Rosa, California.