Tragic news out of southern Silicon Valley highlights the danger drivers face when trees collapse on our state’s highways. According to the San Jose Mercury News, a fallen tree apparently triggered a three-car collision that killed two men and injured five other people on Highway 101 south of Gilroy earlier this week.
The CHP responded to the crash site and reported finding a large eucalyptus tree resting on top of a Toyota in the far-right lane, blocking both lanes of traffic. The Toyota’s driver and two passengers suffered moderate to major injuries.
A GMC driving in the left lane struck the fallen tree, causing fatal injuries to the driver, 50-year-old Jason Manning from San Tan Valley, AZ. A BMW also collided with the tree from the left lane, killing the front passenger, 28-year-old Ezequiel Sanchez from Gonzales.
Our hearts go out to all the victims and their family members affected by this tragedy. Suffering a severe injury or the loss of a loved one due to a falling tree or branches is devastating.
Sadly, this type of incident is not uncommon. Severe weather, poor maintenance, or damaged roots due to drought are all factors that can cause trees to uproot and fall.
Eucalyptus trees are especially susceptible to weather damage because of their shallow root structure. Government entities can also create dangerous conditions through improper pruning. Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger has extensive experience helping tree injury victims secure settlements and verdicts.
Our tree failure injury and wrongful death team has secured many large settlements and verdicts in the multimillion dollar range against Caltrans, local government entities and and a private contractors on behalf of survivors, spouses, children and family of Californian’s killed when falling trees landed cars driving on Bay Area roadways.
By Walkup Melodia Kelly and Schoenberger