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Big Oak damaged

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November 30, 2005

Thomasville, Georgia-- A truck driver is facing charges for running into one of Thomasville's most famous landmarks. James Hayden was charged with failure to obey a traffic control device after hitting "The Big Oak" early Wednesday morning.

Two of the tree's large limbs that towered over Monroe Street were torn off. Signals warn drivers the clearance is only nine and a half feet. The truck Hayden was driving is more than three feet taller than that.

People in the Rose City say this is the most severe smack the tree has taken. "To come down here and see that the tree has been damaged, it's just unbelievable that somebody could hit that tree and not know it's there. You know, I hate to see that. I hope we can repair it," says resident, Tony Garrett.

"The Big Oak" is more than 320 years old. It's 162 feet wide and 68 feet tall.

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