A tree fell on a hiker in Rancho San Antonio Park in Cupertino, California Sunday morning, killing her, CBS San Francisco’s Da Lin and Betty Yu reported,
A woman was hiking with her son and several other Boy Scouts and their parents on a popular trail when the tree fell.
The Santa Clara County Fire Department said it received the first 911 call at 10:01 a.m.
One witness said the group consisted of three adults and four boys with the Sunnyvale Boy Scout troop. They were hiking on what is commonly called the PG&E trail because of the power lines that run above it.
Park authorities said the tree fell about 3-1/2 miles from the parking lot.
“I heard some screams and stuff. It was about 40, 50 feet away from me,” said Surya, who declined to provide his last name.
Surya is the father of a scout and he said several area scout troops were hiking in the park Sunday.
Surya said he and several others tried to remove the tree that was lying across the woman.
“There were three people on my side and two people on the other side. We were trying to think on our toes real quick and trying to see if we could lift the log that’s on her body, see if we could lift it up a little bit so she could breathe,” Surya said. “We tried lifting it. We lifted it a little bit, enough so that there was a clearance and we put a rock underneath so that it wasn’t touching the body. That was the best we could do.”
Capt. Matt Mokhtarian, a spokesman for the SCFD, described what happened next.
“Our firefighters arrived and they were able to extricate the patient from under the tree and, after some life-saving efforts, they were unsuccessful. The patient has passed away,” he said.
Surya and the victim’s neighbor said the woman’s son, a senior in high school, was at the scene the entire time. He tried to help but the tree was simply too large and heavy.
“It’s just really hard to imagine what had happened,” Surya said.
Hikers and witnesses said it wasn’t windy at the time but it had rained intermittently Sunday morning.
“It’s just an unfortunate tragedy that you go out for a hike in a relatively calm morning and have this kind of thing happen,” said chief ranger Matt Anderson with the MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District, which oversees Rancho San Antonio County Park.
Authorities said soil under the trees in the region is saturated from storms over the past two months. They said it doesn’t take much wind to topple them. They reminded people to be careful when hiking.
David Chew of Cupertino laced up his hiking boots as he normally does Sunday evening. He had read about the hiker getting crushed by a tree before coming to the park.
“I was quite surprised because usually the paths along the trail are very well kept and I have rarely seen any fallen trees,” he said. “It’s very woodsy. I’m not saying there isn’t any danger. There’s definitely danger up there but I’ve been hiking here for so many years, I would have never thought something like that would have happened,” he said.
Rashmi Shiva is part of another Boy Scout troop that went for a hike Sunday.
“It is sad, right, because we could have gone on that trail also. I mean it is unfortunate someone lost their mom. It’s very unfortunate, actually, because this morning we all started together,” she said.
“It just blows my mind that something like that would happen,” Chew said.
Authorities haven’t released the victim’s name but a neighbor told CBS San Francisco the family lives in San Jose.
“The deceased is the parent of a scout and they were participating in a planned hike at the Rancho San Antonio Park,” confirmed Eric Tarbox, Scout executive/CEO of Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council, Boy Scouts of America, adding that no one else was hurt.
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