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Unclear why eucalyptus tree fell on car in O.C., killing driver

September 16, 2011 |  7:24 am

Tree falls on car
Authorities in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa are trying to determine what caused a massive eucalyptus to topple and crush to death a 29-year-old woman Thursday afternoon.

What appears to be a freak accident occurred on Irvine Avenue, near 17th Street, at the edge of Costa Mesa's city limits, the Daily Pilot reported.

Haeyoon Miller, 29, of Tustin was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was not a particularly windy day and Newport Beach officials said the tree was pruned in April and was not diseased.

"We don't know why the tree fell," said Newport Beach city spokeswoman Tara Finnigan.

The tree was 50 to 70 feet tall with a 3-foot-wide trunk and it fell as Miller was waiting at a red light in her Hyundai Accent GS.

Some witnesses reported hearing a loud "bang" as the enormous tree flattened the small sedan.


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-- Joseph Serna, Times Community News

Photo: Costa Mesa firefighters work to remove a giant eucalyptus tree that fell on a car and killed the driver. The tree was planted in a median along Irvine Avenue near 17th Street. Credit: Don Leach / Times Community News