April 14, 2008

by Moss

For those who read my blog on a semi-regular basis, you'll notice I follow TREES FALLING. Here is the latest according to SFgate.

A woman who was hit by a large piece of a redwood tree that fell today in a parking lot at San Francisco's Stern Grove has died, officials said.

The woman was putting her dog into her Subaru Outback at the lot next to Concert Meadow around 11:30 a.m. when part of the tree broke off and fell, hitting her and her car, said Fire Department Lt. Mindy Talmadge.

Paramedic crews took the woman to San Francisco General Hospital, where she died at 12:14 p.m., authorities said. Her name has not been released.

The redwood tree is about 60 feet tall, and its trunk splits into two about 40 feet up from the ground. The portion of the tree that fell on the woman was the smaller of the two trunks, which was about 10 inches in diameter.

The tree is estimated to be around 40 years old and appears to be healthy, said Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Rose Dennis. It has been windy in the city today, but Dennis said it was unknown whether that had anything to do with what happened.

As a precaution, Dennis said, the department has closed both parking lots at Stern Grove while officials check for other hazards.

"Obviously it was a fluke, but it was a tragic fluke," Dennis said.

Dennis said the woman regularly walked her dog at the park and was a familiar face to Stern Grove staffers.

Officers with the city's Department of Animal Care and Control responded to the scene and found the woman's uninjured dog, Talmadge said.