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60-foot tree collapses on car

Intersection in Valencia partially blocked

Posted: May 21, 2008 9:02 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Medical officials help a driver get out of her car after it was struck by a 60-foot eucalyptus tree, which uprooted and landed on top of her car. The victim was immediately transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, where she was treated for injuries suffered as she escaped from her vehicle.

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Commuters travelling on Arroyo Park Drive in Valencia had a difficult time trying to access McBean Parkway Wednesday afternoon, after high winds forced a 60-foot eucalyptus tree to be uprooted from the ground and blocked the road shortly after 2 p.m.

Two cars were hit directly by the large tree, one of which was completely submerged under leaves and branches. A third car was also involved, though the damages were minor. The tree collapsed on Arroyo Park Drive, about one car-length away from the crosswalk.

"I was just stopped at a red light, when all of a sudden I heard a window shattering," said Lori Crown of Valencia, whose Mercedes Benz was struck by the tree as she was waiting to make a right turn onto McBean Parkway from Arroyo Park Drive. The tree shattered the rear window of her car.

A Dodge Neon was buried under the brush, and the driver of the vehicle was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital after she was injured trying to escape.

She suffered scrapes to her legs as she brushed against the tree's branches and leaves during her escape. The driver, whose injuries were not serious, was waiting to make a left turn onto McBean Parkway.

Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, firefighters from Batallion 6 and Santa Clarita city workers spent approximately one hour cutting up the tree and cleaning up the mess. Traffic on Arroyo Park Drive was diverted through the Granary Square shopping center, while the the right lane on northbound McBean Parkway was blocked off to allow cleanup and emergency crews to park their vehicles while they removed the eucalyptus tree.

According to the National Weather Service, winds were clocked at approximately 50 mph when the tree collapsed.

A smaller tree located on Wiley Canyon Road split and landed on the street, blocking one lane of traffic approximately 30 minutes before it was removed by city crews.

Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service, said a wind advisory was in effect in the Santa Clarita Valley through 5 a.m. Thursday morning, and winds would slow down to 10-20 MPH by Thursday evening.


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