A woman suffered fatal injuries after her car was crushed by a large falling tree in Tustin. Dennet O. Bermas, 34, died on the morning of Monday Oct. 15 when a 40-foot eucalyptus tree crashed onto the roof of her car, according to a report by CBSLA. The incident happened right outside her home, at the Waterstone apartment complex on Red Hill Ave., Tustin. The victim was backing her Toyota sedan out of a carport when the tree tumbled.
Neighbors heard a snapping sound and saw the tree fall. They immediately rushed to help, but it is believed the woman died on impact. Emergency services were called out to the incident and were on the scene at about 9.15am on Oct. 15. Numerous other incidents involving fallen trees and power lines were reported to authorities that same day due to the high winds hitting Southern California, prompting a Red Flag warning to be put into effect.
Tustin Technical Rescue: 9:15 am Crews are onscene of a large tree that fell on a vehicle 14000 block of Red Hill. One female fatality in the vehicle, unknown age. pic.twitter.com/R2EeHQmGw8
— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) October 15, 2018
Falling Tree Danger
The mass and weight of tree trunks and branches can represent a considerable danger when they fall, due to the impact this can create. Eucalyptus trees are particularly liable to cause accidents. This type of tree can become extremely large, but is known to have shallow roots which are not always able to support this weight – especially in heavy winds. As a result, eucalyptus trees must be inspected and pruned regularly to reduce the risk of dangerous falls.
Investigations are ongoing into the cause of this fatal tree fall incident. While the wind may well have been a significant factor in the fall, there can be other contributing issues – such as whether the tree was properly pruned. In some cases, if established that there is a liability, parties would be held financially responsible for the tragic loss of life.
Bisnar Chase has handled several high-profile wrongful death claims involving tree fall incidents and injuries. In one case, our firm helped to secure $2.5 million for a client who was left paralyzed after being hit by a falling eucalyptus tree in the city of Perris. An experienced premise liability lawyer can help victims and family members discuss their legal options in such cases.