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Driver killed when 50-foot tree falls on car in Costa Mesa [Updated]

September 15, 2011 |  3:55 pm

A 50-foot eucalyptus tree fell on a car at 17th Street and Irvine Avenue in Costa Mesa on Thursday afternoon, killing a woman in the car in what appeared to be a freak accident.

The tree fell on what looked like a blue Hyundai Accent GS, crushing the entire midsection. Authorities were cutting up the tree about 3 p.m.

Authorities said a female driver died in the incident.

The northbound side of Irvine was closed at 17th.

Costa Mesa police responded to the scene, while Newport Beach Police Department was handling traffic control.

[Updated, 4:35 p.m.: Witnesses said that right after the crash, the woman was communicating.

A Costa Mesa Urban Search and Rescue unit attempted to lift the tree, but it fell back down, according to witnesses.

Newport Beach General Services used a crane to lift the tree off. Irvine is now closed entirely between Cabrillo Street and 17th.

Records show the car is registered to Haeyoon Miller, 29, of Laguna Niguel.]


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-- Joseph Serna, Times Community News

Photo: A car lies crushed beneath a fallen tree on Irvine Avenue near 17th Street in Costa Mesa on Thursday.

Credit: Don Barletti / Los Angeles Times