Teen girl injured by falling branch in Old Town Bluffton OK, mother says

sbowman@islandpacket.comJuly 26, 2013 

A teenage girl injured Thursday night by a falling tree limb outside the Old Town Dispensary in Bluffton escaped with minor scratches and bruises, her mother said Friday.

Rebecca Donaldson, 14, was sitting at a table in the restaurant's outside dining area when the 15-foot-long and more than 8-inch-diameter limb crashed down on her table, Catherine Donaldson said.

She said it appeared the edge of the table broke on her daughter's legs. Rebecca has some bruises across her thighs, Donaldson said.

"We are very lucky because you hear about these things, and they don't always end so well," Donaldson said. "It was a freak accident that could have been bad and wasn't."

Catherine Donaldson was standing beside the table, about 10 feet away from the tree, and her husband, Brad, was sitting on the other side of it. She said her three younger children, the youngest at 3 years old, had just walked away before the limb came down at 7:45 p.m.

Dispensary owner Thomas Viljac said he and several patrons called 911, and the Bluffton Police Department, Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and emergency medical services arrived within 10 minutes at the restaurant at 15 Captains Cove.

Rebecca was treated at Hilton Head Hospital and was home before midnight, Donaldson said.

Donaldson said she and her family have no hard feelings toward the restaurant.

"It was such a fluke thing, and everyone responded and was so great," Donaldson said. "We all look forward to our next family meal at the Dispensary very soon."

Follow reporter Sarah Bowman on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.

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