A 35-year-old California woman is dead after a 70-foot oak tree toppled through the roof of her home and crushed her. The personal injury incident occurred in the early morning hours on January 22, according to local authorities. Family members and friends of the woman say she had previously complained about the tree to her landlord, saying that she was concerned that it might fall over. Neighbors had also expressed concern that the tree was unsafe, but no action was taken by the landlord. The massive tree had a trunk that measured approximately 7 feet in diameter.
The woman's boyfriend was also involved in the incident; he was sleeping in the bed next to her when the tree fell into the home. Miraculously, he was unharmed in the accident. Investigators say the man was only inches away from being severely wounded, as well.
Initial reports show that the tree's root structure may have been weakened by recent rains in the area. Firefighters and other investigators are still not entirely sure why the tree fell, and the inquiry into the matter continues. News reports show that the family of the decedent will file a wrongful death suit against the owner of the home in connection with the incident.
Residents who are renting homes deserve to live in safe, healthful environments. Landlords are responsible for making sure that their premises do not pose undue risk to the people who are living in their homes. Those victims who are seriously injured or killed because of hazardous conditions in their rental homes deserve financial compensation from the negligent parties that cause the personal injury accident.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Ukiah woman feared tree that crushed her to death," Steve Rubenstein, Jan. 24, 2017