Jacksonville, Fla.-- A local teen may never walk again after almost being crushed by a rotting tree.
The family of Aubrey Stewart says this did not have to happen. They say they asked the city to fix the problem almost one year ago. Stewart is just 15 years old. His uncle says he may be paralyzed. "My nephew is in the hospital and he might not walk again," said Ken Stewart.
Aubrey was pinned underneath a heavy tree branch for about an hour Monday night. His family knew someday, one of these trees would come crashing down. That's why they've been making complaints to the city over and over again. "We did warn the city, and asked for help," said Stewart.
Paperwork obtained by Action News shows a complaint was filed starting in September of last year. A dead tree was dropping large limbs. A few months after that, tree limbs fell again. This time it dented a car. The report even says the caller, Aubrey's father, was concerned that one day the whole tree would fall. Just months later, in May, it did.
The city did put an X on one tree, which means the city was going to take the tree down. Instead, the tree fell on its own.
There was another tree with a circle marked on it. The city had planned to trim the tree.
It was a limb from that tree that injured Aubrey. His uncle says those trees have been marked for at least six months.
Action News tried to get some answers from the city about why the trees weren't taken care of. City leaders didn't want to answer our questions, but released a statement saying, "The situation is very unfortunate. We certainly wish the young man who was injured a full recovery and are currently investigating the issue."
Aubrey is expected to be in the hospital for two more weeks before going to rehab.