A large, old pine tree uprooted and fell onto a group of children at a summer day camp in Pasadena injuring eight, two critically.
According to an ABC news report, the 75-foot-tall, 75-year-old pine crashed without warning near the Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena’s Brookside Park.
Witnesses said they heard the tree crack and saw it fall on a group of children.
Eight children, ranging from 6 to 8 years old, were injured. Six were treated at the scene for cuts, bumps and bruises and two were transported to a hospital critical condition.
Their injuries were not life threatening. The children were apparently under the tree doing a crafts project when the tree fell.
Officials said it is not clear why the tree fell on a warm, clear summer day with minimal winds. An independent arborist is looking into why the tree fell.
The Danger of Falling Trees
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are typically more than 100 tree and landscape-related fatalities every year.
We take trees for granted, but consider this. A mature tree, such as the one that uprooted in Pasadena, could weigh 10 tons or more.
One can only imagine the potential devastation when such a large, heavy tree falls on young children playing under it.
City officials have apparently retained the services of an independent arborist to look into what caused the tree to fall down. There are a number of unanswered questions here.
Was the tree diseased? When was the last time this 75-year-old tree was inspected? Are the inspection reports available to the public? Had the city received a recommendation from an arborist to remove the tree because its roots were weak and could not support the weight of the tree?
In this particular case, since the tree was on city property, the city could be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.
Injury claims involving a governmental agency must be filed within six months of the incident, under state law.