Two Die After Tree Crushes Car on 199, Says CHP

Good Samaritans who tried to assist the occupants stand around a vehicle crushed by a tree on Hwy 199. The vehicle images has been blocked out as family have not been notified. [Photo by Courtney Mae]

A large redwood tree feel on a 2016 Honda Accord today on Hwy 199 near north of Walker Road. [Photo by Courtney Mae]

Press release from the California Highway Patrol:

On March 25, 2021, at approximately 1149 hours, a 2016 Honda Accord, driven by a 36 year old male from Yreka, CA. was traveling southbound on US-199 north of Walker Rd. when a large redwood tree fell from the east side ofUS-199. The large tree fell directly on top of the 2016 Honda, completely crushing the passenger compartment. The driver and 45 year old passenger suffered fatal injuries as a result. This crash is still under investigation,

The following agencies responded to assist at the scene: California Highway Patrol, Cal-Trans, Del Norte County Sheriffs Department, National Park Service, Crescent City Fire and Rescue, Del Norte Ambulance.

UPDATE: Fundraiser Set Up for Children Orphaned When Tree Fell on Parent’s Car

Earlier: Falling Tree Leaves at Least One Person Dead and Closes Hwy 199

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82 Comments
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josey
Guest
josey
1 year ago

it’s usually vehicle versus tree, but this appears to be tree v vehicle.
crumby jokes aside. those were crazy weird odds for these folks.

J
Guest
J
1 year ago

Dang, I hope they didn’t suffer. Condolences to the families.

Kurt Silton
Guest
Kurt Silton
1 year ago
Reply to  J

Um , no it was instant, that’s a Redwood tree.

Joe
Guest
Joe
1 year ago

WOW! What a way to go! Condolences.

e
Guest
e
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

When I was a kid, the “church ladies” would say: it is God’s will.

Perry Gray-Reneberg
Guest
Perry Gray-Reneberg
1 year ago
Reply to  e

We Christians who believe God renders destruction in the post-incarnation era sure mess up a lot of people’s faith lives. I pray their survivers don’t hear such distortion.

Kurt Silton
Guest
Kurt Silton
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

They left behind 5 children. It’s a horrible tragedy.

W
Guest
W
1 year ago
Reply to  Kurt Silton

We, the taxpayers, will (and should willingly) pay millions to the children and others for the negligence of the responsible agencies. I will help with the technical side if the family/guardians wish. No charge of any kind.

There are other dead trees within reach of the highway that are in similar shape (long dead), so this will happen again if such trees (they WILL fall, but no one can say when) are not removed.

Quint Conner
Guest
Quint Conner
1 year ago
Reply to  W

W. These were our best friends/family. Please get ahold of me. 530-340-5551
I said the same thing as you did. Thank you so much. Tomorrow anytime you can get ahold of me. Were bringing dinner to the family as I type this.

Rest Easy
Guest
Rest Easy
1 year ago

Can you imagine you’re out enjoying a day, driving through the redwoods and you, out of nowhere, meet your end? Condolences to the families and I hope nothing was felt when this happened.

Ice
Guest
Ice
1 year ago

Wait until this happens during a windstorm at Sequoia parks’ new skywalk full of tourists..

the misadventures of bunjee
Guest
the misadventures of bunjee
1 year ago
Reply to  Ice

Ice, how is it that I feel you have a mobid fascination or want for that to actually happen? Shame on you.

Me Nunya
Guest
Me Nunya
1 year ago

You’ve been practicing your comment section moral outrage, haven’t you? Coming along nicely. Time to move you to the advanced class: Tweeting with righteous indignation.

Henna
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  Kym Kemp

People what we fail to realize is that tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. We must treat each day as our last because we never no. Life is short and precious. The pandemic should have taught us this. Love one another encourage eachother and Prayers to there children.

LaurieLynn
Guest
LaurieLynn
1 year ago

Prayers for the family 🙏

Lone Ranger
Guest
Lone Ranger
1 year ago

Cut those old trees down, how many lives must be sacrificed ? These deadly curves around trees kill people every year, cut them down and build redwood rest stops where people can view them in a safe setting.

A
Guest
A
1 year ago
Reply to  Lone Ranger

Yep.

Jason
Guest
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  Lone Ranger

There is a reason you are alone!

The Real Brian
Guest
The Real Brian
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason

2 people die in a tree fall and Loner Anger is freaking out, wanting to sue everyone and cut down the forest.

2.5 million die from new communicable disease and he calls that a “lamedemic”.

Lame Ranging these comment sections is his choice of time spending.

Some people aren’t cut out for difficult tasks, so let’s just accept LR for what he does, which is basically less than nothing.

e
Guest
e
1 year ago
Reply to  Lone Ranger

Cut the trees at Richardson Grove while you are at it.

Lorax
Guest
Lorax
1 year ago
Reply to  e

Move to the central valley, where the only trees are almond trees. Leave Richardson Grove alone.

deborah
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deborah
1 year ago
Reply to  Lone Ranger

I agree ..

Denise Elizabeth Spidle
Guest
Denise Elizabeth Spidle
1 year ago
Reply to  Lone Ranger

EXCELLENT IDEA!

ghostly
Guest
ghostly
1 year ago
Reply to  Lone Ranger

In a safe setting? lmfao, so, what, from at least 200-300+ feet away?

This is obviously tragic and sad, really goes to show you never know if today will be your last. Condolences to the kids.

But it’s definitely not about the redwoods. Even small trees can and do fall and kill people. If you find that risk unacceptable, well, the desert can be very nice.

Tonto
Guest
Tonto
1 year ago

Hear! Hear!

North west
Guest
North west
1 year ago

There you go. Problem salved ranger.
It would have been nice if some intellectual could have thought of that before the Redwoods started to take revenge
Great idea

madeasound
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madeasound
1 year ago
Reply to  North west

You might be aLone in your Ranger view but cheers to offering solutions…

the misadventures of bunjee
Guest
the misadventures of bunjee
1 year ago

Lone Ranger you know what is also safe? You just staying home and looking at pretty tree pictures on your computer.

Arain
Guest
Arain
1 year ago

How scary pray for the family’s my older son and daughter in law drive that road all the time I’m always worried for them that road has took so manny I love this is heartbreaking no words to make this better

Douglas
Guest
Douglas
1 year ago

Since all of them, every last one of ’em, will eventually fall (if we haven’t cut them down first), it amazes me trees don’t kill more people.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas

I know i should be serious….but

Mr. Biden needs to outlaw assault trees and evil tree huggers. Arbor day celebrates trees that have or may kill.

Please get to know Jesus. Praying for the families.

Jason
Guest
Jason
1 year ago

How utterly tragic.
My heart goes out to their friends and relatives.
Talk about the wrong place at the wrong time.
I can’t even believe the odds of this happening to a moving vehicle.

M
Guest
M
1 year ago

What the hell are the tax payers paying for the Parks Service and Cal Trans if they can’t maintain the highways and parks along the highway to ensure safety for those that travel along it? This tree didn’t just fall. It is completely dead and rotten from some type beetle or fungus. It’s their responsibility to inspect and remove rotten dead trees along the roadways. What the hell? This wasn’t caused by lightening, or massive storm, or God. It was caused yet again by government neglect of their duty and responsibility.

Bigdog
Guest
Bigdog
1 year ago
Reply to  M

ICYMI, that location is in the middle of a national park and CalTrans cannot touch any of the trees outside of the roadway. It dang near takes an act of Congress to cut a redwood tree inside the park. No matter how dangerous it is.

Oregon Mom
Guest
Oregon Mom
1 year ago
Reply to  M

Oh, but you have to leave the forest and especially parks natural, wild and scenic. What’s a few human lives compared to ecosystems, habitats, old growth, owls, frogs, slugs…?

Seriously though, my heart goes out to the victims of this tragic accident and their loved ones.

Lone Ranger
Guest
Lone Ranger
1 year ago
Reply to  M

But,but,but heaven forbid, it was a nice looking second growth. We’ve got to save them third growths now. What a joke, cut them down and straightened the road already.

S. Holmes
Guest
S. Holmes
1 year ago
Reply to  M

I’d love to agree with you on government neglect, but this is 100% on environmentalists. Nobody’s allowed to touch those trees without doing a decade of studies and millions of dollars. People die every year because of this.

Ol’ Loco
Guest
Ol’ Loco
7 months ago
Reply to  S. Holmes

People die every year by drowning, should we drain every waterway on the planet? People die in house fires from various reasons, should we ban housing? While we are at it let’s outlaw all forms of motorized transportation because of the death toll. Life is hazardous, no getting around it!

My heart goes out to the friends & families of these unfortunate souls.

Richard
Guest
Richard
1 year ago
Reply to  M

How do you know the condition of that tree, did you examine it? Are you an arborist ? Unless you are a trained expert who has visually examined the tree comments like this are very irresponsible .

Anon
Guest
Anon
1 year ago
Reply to  M

Seriously!!!!

Who is in charge of maintaining the trees along that road?
Who? They are accountable if accountability is to be assigned anywhere.

Sure freak accidents happen.
BUT

Environmental statutes or not, we all travel through state maintained roadways with a baseline presumption of safety. Right?

My hinky meter says this tree gave warnings that it was compromised.

And they never inspected it, didn’t see it if they actually do inspections, or they just ignored it altogether like lazy fuks.

Look at how that tree basically disintegrated where it split over the car.

Live redwood creates large splinters and chards when they break, don’t they? I’m not seeing anything like that.

I hope they do a thorough investigation.

Finding out they left 5 children behind , no words.

I hope they sue for $500,000,000+

Thirdeye
Guest
Thirdeye
1 year ago
Reply to  M

You’re right about the tree being rotten. A witness account describes it disintegrating as it fell.

https://kymkemp.com/2021/03/25/falling-tree-leaves-at-least-one-person-dead-and-closes-hwy-199/#comment-1305441

This is not the first time CalTrans has been criticized for not keeping on top of hazard tree mitigation and not the first time someone on a road has died from an identifiable hazard tree falling. IIRC there was a death from one on 36 or Avenue of the Giants a few years ago.

Trina Davis
Guest
Trina Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Thirdeye

Whenever a redwood tree falls it explodes.

Mercury
Guest
Mercury
1 year ago
Reply to  M

let me guess, your a professional ambulance chaser, isn’t that’s what car insurance and life insurance is for? and as for cutting them all down that’s the same dumb thinking that people used after Steve Irwin died to kill all the manta rays they could find, do us all a favor and stay home do your shopping on line where your safe!

trackback

[…] have any photographs to post today. Erin took the kids to take one more hike in the Redwoods. And this happened while they were making their loop. Poor kids saw the aftermath on their way back to the […]

GES
Guest
GES
1 year ago

Gravity

Guest
Guest
Guest
1 year ago

“If a tree don’t fall on ya, you’ll live until you die.”
Seems the old sayings are still true.

Lone Ranger
Guest
Lone Ranger
1 year ago

Can this family sue save the redwood league, earth first , epic and every other environmental group that has cause this fatality. They are to blame, hope they get sued.

chopsolutely
Guest
chopsolutely
1 year ago
Reply to  Lone Ranger

while we’re at it, let’s ban cars. anybody caught driving, selling a car, or manufacturing a car goes directly to prison.

i mean, cars kill how many people a year?

i’m sure you support suing the NRA and gun manufacturers too, yeah?

Antichrist
Guest
Antichrist
1 year ago
Reply to  chopsolutely

Doctors kill more people than guns and autos each and every year, true story.

2nd Amendment Security
Guest
2nd Amendment Security
1 year ago
Reply to  Antichrist

Verified.

Hard to believe that is why malpractice ia BANK.

doydoydoy
Guest
doydoydoy
1 year ago
Reply to  Lone Ranger

Yep, because they were all standing there , already organized, having thought up incorporating and distinctions of nonprofit law, watching that tree sprout, two thousand years ago. And they stood there and said, “if we protect this tree, someday somebody is going to build a road right here, and somebody will invent a device to get from one place to another, and this tree will wait for its chance, and take careful aim and kill somebody.” It’s all a vast conspiracy.

M...
Guest
M...
1 year ago

This was a freak occurrence. While big trees fall, I’ve never heard of one falling on the passenger compartment of a car. I think people get hit by lightning more than big trees hitting cars. You can never protect against rare events. Similar rare events? Bird strikes on planes, engines sometime fall off airplanes and hit cars near airports. House size rocks fall off the cliff on hwy 199. Shooters, earthquakes, floods, road rage, the list goes on and on and will never stop because you can’t protect fully against a single freak event.

I like stars
Guest
I like stars
1 year ago
Reply to  M...

Pretty sure a person in a car was killed by a falling redwood on hwy 101 around a decade ago. Certainly not common though.

One around 8 ft in diameter fell across the Avenue last Friday.

Farmgirl
Guest
Farmgirl
1 year ago
Reply to  M...

I agree, also I can’t believe the NON SUPPORT of the families going on right now in this feed.
Praying for these families and there loss. Our family would say at least they were enjoying life on a beautiful drive.
Our days are numbered before we are born nothing can change that.

Dogbiter
Guest
Dogbiter
1 year ago

I’m with you Ranger!
Sue everybody concerned with those trees within reach of the road.
I’ve lived here 72 years and those damned trees have always been nothing but obstacles between me and where I was trying to go.

chopsolutely
Guest
chopsolutely
1 year ago
Reply to  Dogbiter

cut all of the trees down, just level the whole forest. then we can all go whichever direction we want!

Andoli
Guest
Andoli
1 year ago

As sad as this is, it sure beats rotting to death in some cancer ward. Also comforting was the last thing they saw was our creators splendid beauty in our beautiful redwood forest, and it was over before they even knew what was happening. Deepest condolences to the family as this is never easy.

Margaret
Guest
Margaret
1 year ago

They were on a trip for her birthday and had three small children at home. They were very wonderful people and will be greatly missed.

Richard Perdue
Guest
Richard Perdue
1 year ago
Reply to  Margaret

Amen!!!…..

Martin
Guest
Martin
1 year ago

My most sincere condolences to their families and friends. I pray that God will give them strength and love to help them through this most difficult time. Who would have thought that a drive through the redwood forest was going to turn deadly in the blink of an eye.

Mailguy
Guest
Mailguy
1 year ago

Any idea on who it was I live in Siskiyou County just curious

Yikes
Guest
Yikes
1 year ago

This is some real life Final Destination stuff. If you’ve ever seen the movies you know what I mean. Damn. RIP.

Kurt Silton
Guest
Kurt Silton
1 year ago
Reply to  Yikes

Word.

chris
Guest
1 year ago

That is horrible.

Carolina Aitken
Guest
Carolina Aitken
1 year ago
Very Sad Family Member
Guest
Very Sad Family Member
1 year ago

Please be mindful that this couple’s children are reading all these posts.
Thank you

A good samaritan
Guest
A good samaritan
1 year ago

Please let the children know that it was a beautiful day, that it happened very fast, and they barely knew what happened before it was over. We saw them as they passed us, seconds before it happened. There was no way their dad could have stopped or accelerated to safety in time. No way he could have knowingly avoided it. I didn’t know trees could fall that fast. It covered the entire road. There was no sign that it was about to happen when we walked through that exact spot 60 seconds earlier.

Very Sad Family Member
Guest
Very Sad Family Member
1 year ago

Bless your heart for sharing this, it really does help to hear.
Thank you

W
Guest
W
1 year ago

I am old and retired, with a lifetime of experience with trees. I have been doing a Tree Condition and Failure Assessment Study for over five years following a similar incident (not “accident”), and I am still learning (I’m not amazed at the level of misunderstanding displayed here, but when one is cocksure and likes to shoot from the hip, it happens). I’m very sad about your relatives, and sad for the family and friends. I used to survey trees for the U S Forest Service, among many other kinds of tree work, and I have come very close to death in the deep woods. But roads are different. The authorities’ first duty is to the public health and safety, and that includes landholders. The tree had been dead for a long time. Dead trees may remain standing for a long time before they finally fall, usually without warning. This tree was apparently leaning (see Google Street Map). I don’t want to invade your privacy, especially at this time, but if you want to post here that you would like me to share my observations with you when the time is right, I’ll be happy to do that. There is much more to the story here than meets the eye. I hope the authorities don’t destroy the evidence and that they collected contact information from all witnesses. This could have been prevented had management been proactive.

Be safe, well, and happy as you can be under the circumstances. I know, I, too, am still grieving.

Ernie
Guest
Ernie
1 year ago
Reply to  W

The damn tree was rotten to the core. It was going to fall sooner or later. It just chose this century to do it.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle
1 year ago
Reply to  W

Hello W, I’m an aunt of the victims can you please contact me via email I would like to know what you found thank you
[email protected]

PDL
Guest
PDL
1 year ago

A redwood tree doesn’t just fall over in a matter of seconds, does it? Like, kaboom, you’re vaporized? Isn’t there some creaking and tottering that would serve as a warning?

Either way, I am very sorry this happened.

A good samaritan
Guest
A good samaritan
1 year ago
Reply to  PDL

I and my family saw it happen. It was incredibly, shockingly fast. The way the tree disintegrated, and landed on them, happened in about 3-5 seconds, followed by a cascade of further debris from the tree that took a little longer to settle…looking like a landslide of large shards and twigs cascading around them and overflowing to the other side of the road. There was no audible creaking or tottering…Just normal forest sounds until the tree collapsed with a giant crack and splintering sounds.

HotCoffee
Guest
HotCoffee
1 year ago

It’s a sad for the family and friends, yet it shows we do not control our future or even
if we will have a future here on earth.

Those appointed to pass on will with or without trees.

Live everyday like it’s your last, enjoy it like this couple was doing.

May they RIP. And even though it won’t be today, may their familys pain heal quickly and rejoice in the fond memories and good times.

reality
Guest
reality
1 year ago

Bad timing… They could have been out of their car walking and had this happen just as likely though.

I heard about this thru word of mouth, and it was hard to find a article about it (thanks Kim for covering it).

I was really disappointed by the comments…. Are we really this ignorant now a days?

169 had a tree take out the power lines a few months ago. About a month before that another one did. Both trees were obviously going to fall, yet, they were not taken out. Right beside the one that fell is another looking as precarious.

It would be nice if we, as a society, could someone realize hazards and mitigate them. Where is Huffman on this matter? Oh, he’s too concerned with another State flying a flag to have a voice here in this?

Combine it all (and more) and I find we are in a sad state of mental well being in our country.

169 needs to have the power lines moved over one valley so they don’t run by the road, then its far easier to mitigate trees that are hazards.

199 needs to be made one way thru this area, with the other way going thru North Bank Road. This would require less stress (smaller path) thru the trees. Might not have prevented this death though…

Last Chance grade should have been moved years and years ago. Would have cost far less in resources and money…

Yet Huffman is still concerned with other states flying flags more than any of these issues…

Yeh, sad state of mental health.

By 2040 our national debt will have to double every year… let that sink in.

Brokenhearted family member
Guest
Brokenhearted family member
1 year ago

My heart aches at the loss of these amazing, beautiful couple, both inside and out!! They are and forever will be missed, and nothing will ever be the same, I hope you kids know how loved all 5 of you are!!! Nobody will replace the 2 beautiful lives lost, but your not alone and me and its obviouse many many more will be and want to be there for you during these hard time, and after as well. Keep your heads up loves. And words cannot express how sorry I am for this loss. Xo

Kristi
Guest
Kristi
1 year ago

So sorry for this family’s loss & for the children. Also sad to see many comments about each other here! Where’s the compassion for the family members who may be reading these comments & need comfort! Prayers for this family.
Donate & make a difference! I am.

W
Guest
W
1 year ago

We should all pull together for the children. Please reassure us that they are in loving, capable hands.

LifeCanBeBrutal
Guest
LifeCanBeBrutal
1 year ago

This is very sad and a freak accident. Millions of people come to visit the redwoods to see their magnificent beauty. No one should be sued and the trees shouldn’t be cut down. Sometimes in life terrible things happen. You shouldn’t go out and kill all the sharks because one person is attacked. This is a tragedy for sure but sometimes you just have to leave it at that not go blaming everything and everyone. As sad as it is they were just at the wrong place wrong time.

Lee
Guest
Lee
1 year ago

I can’t imagine the horrible pain the children and family must be going through.

jimmy
Guest
jimmy
7 months ago

Not funny at all! I went to school with one of the deceased. Truly sad and devastating for the family. Something needs to be done about hazard tree removal or tragic incidents like this will continue to happen.