A large tree fell on 5 cars in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco; 19th Street blocked, 2 injured
SAN FRANCISCO — A large tree fell on 19th Avenue in Golden Gate Park Monday afternoon, hitting five vehicles and closing the busy road but miraculously causing no serious injuries, the San Francisco Fire Department said.
According to officials at the scene, shortly before 4 p.m., the San Francisco Fire Department received several calls reporting a tree falling on vehicles on 19th Avenue in Golden Gate Park.
Firefighters responded to the scene on 19th Avenue at Crossover Drive near MLK Drive and found a large eucalyptus tree that had struck a total of five vehicles, although initial reports indicated four vehicles were hit and damaged the tree. Four cars traveling southbound were damaged by the tree and one car traveling northbound on 19th Street was hit and damaged.
Officials said 11 people inside the vehicles involved were safe. Two of the 11 people were injured, but officials said their injuries were not life-threatening. Fire officials said there were some children in the vehicles.
Fire crews arrived at the scene within four minutes of initial reports, said Capt. Jonathan Baxter, public information officer for the San Francisco Fire Department.
The Fire Department did not provide details about the severity of the injury, but Baxter indicated that there was no need to transport any of the injured to an area hospital.
Fire crews used a K-9 search to make sure there were no pedestrians injured or trapped under the tree off the road, Baxter said.
He also said the tree fall could have been more serious.
He said: “I think it is important to note that these vehicles were moving when this tree fell. If this tree had fallen just one second later, we would be looking back at a much worse scene than what we see now.” Baxter.
KPIX also spoke with Sandy Young, a woman who was riding in the back seat on the passenger side of a Tesla that was stuck under a tree after it fell.
She said she and her family were traveling on southbound 19th Street heading to Westfield Valley Mall when the accident occurred.
“I saw the eucalyptus tree and the lamp post hit our car because we have a glass roof. Fortunately, no one in my family was hurt,” Young said.
When asked how terrifying the incident was, Young laughed nervously before saying: “I don’t think there are words to describe it! It was slow motion, and once the tree hits you, everything goes silent.”
“We were very lucky,” she added. “I think we had a guardian angel watching over us today.”
The fallen tree briefly closed all lanes on 19th Street, causing significant delays in traffic through the park, fire officials said. Chainsaw crews were working to remove small limbs from the tree so work could begin moving the bulk of the eucalyptus tree away from vehicles and off the road.
One northbound lane was open on 19th Street, but drivers were advised to avoid the area and use alternate routes. There was no estimated time for the closed lanes to reopen as of 5:15 p.m
(Tags for translation) Deciduous trees