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Woman Killed by Falling Branch at Slide Hill Park

Tragedy at Slide Hill Park in Davis

On Tuesday morning, a tragic event occurred at Slide Hill Park in Davis, California.  Following a series of winter wind storms, many trees in Northern California were left with weakened limbs, and not all of the affected trees have been inspected and trimmed.  Tuesday brought sustained 20-30 mph winds to the area, and this combination of factors may have been the reason why a 20-foot long limb fell from an Evergreen Ash tree, striking and killing a woman who had brought her three-year-old child to the nature area.  The child escaped physical injury.  

The heartbreaking incident took place just before 10:30 a.m., according to officials with the City of Davis. Members of a park maintenance crew witnessed the event and they were able to react immediately, lifting the branch off of the woman.  First responders were at the scene very shortly thereafter to begin medical assistance. The woman was transported to U.C. Davis Medical Center, where, sadly, she succumbed to her injuries.  

Condolences from the City

Davis Mayor Gloria Partida released a statement that the City of Davis was extending its deepest sympathies to the victim’s family and stated that there would be a thorough investigation of the tragic occurrence.   

Reaction from Neighbors

Members of the media interviewed a number of residents who live near the park and they expressed shock, sadness, and a sense of disbelief.  One mother who frequents the park suggested that some of the trees in the city parks and around Davis should be trimmed in order to prevent anything like this from happening again.  

Another man, who was at the park with his wife said that he will be more vigilant in the future and find routes that do not include walking underneath tree canopies.

One news outlet reported that Davis Police referred to the tragedy as a rare occurrence.

Watch the YouTube video from CBS13 reporting on the story.

Are Tree Accidents Really That Rare?

Northern California has a unique set of climate circumstances that leave trees prone to breakage.  First, the area is often affected by drought conditions, which weaken the structures of trees.  Add to that our many days with strong, sustained wind gusts and we see tree limbs falling regularly.  To illustrate this phenomenon, one only has to think back to the big storm in late January, when streets and parks were littered with huge limbs, branches, and in some cases, entire trees that had crashed to the ground.

Tragedies such as the incident that happened yesterday are, unfortunately, not as rare as we would like to believe.  Just this past June, a young boy was killed and another injured when a tree crashed down on their tent during a family camping trip to Schoolhouse Campground in Yuba County.

Anticipation and Prevention

Because we know that trees and tree limbs fall with regularity in our area, there are actions that can be taken to prevent such tragedies.  Swift inspection of trees following wind events and concurrent trimming of precarious branches can mitigate the chances of limbs falling.

Tree Accident Lawyer – Davis, California

I’m Ed Smith, a Davis tree accident lawyer.   It saddens us to report on this tragic incident that has left a young child motherless.  Every year in Northern California, tree accidents cause severe injuries and fatalities.  If your loved one was killed or catastrophically injured by a falling tree or tree limb, our law firm can offer compassionate, free, and friendly advice.  Call us at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400.

To learn more about the services we provide to our clients, you can access many reviews at YelpGoogle, and Avvo.  We also have posted a sampling of our successful case results on our verdicts and settlements page.

Photo Attribution: MMB

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