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Fallen tree that crushed woman could have domino effect

September 21, 2011 |  9:22 am

Tree crushes car in Costa Mesa
Four arborists have determined that a eucalyptus tree that fell and killed a motorist broke a vital link in its row, and that the other 100 or so trees should be removed, according to Newport Beach officials

The arborists came to the same conclusion independently, said City Manager Dave Kiff.

"The canopy and roots all support each other," Kiff said. "It's like a fence that's all linked together."

The "hedgerow" could have been compromised over many years as the blue gum eucalyptus trees aged or were removed, according to a city statement.

But officials would not go so far as to pinpoint the cause of the collapse last week, and Kiff said arborists are still investigating why the tree fell.

"We just want to focus on what we can do moving forward, on safety."

Haeyoon Miller, 29, of Tustin, died Thursday after a 10-ton tree crushed her Hyundai while she waited at a stoplight.


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-- Mike Reicher, Times Community News

Photo: A crowd gathers at the scene where a giant eucalyptus tree smashed a car waiting at a traffic light at Irvine Avenue and 17th Street in Costa Mesa. Credit: Don Leach / Daily Pilot