FALLBROOK, Calif. – An elderly man was crushed to death Monday morning when an oak tree fell on his minivan as he was driving on a rural road in North County.
The deadly accident was reported just before 8:30 a.m. in the 2200 block of Willow Glen Road.
The tree was blocking both lanes of the road and the driver's body remained trapped in the gray Toyota Sienna, according to John Buchanan, of the North County Fire Department. The victim was an 84-year-old person, Buchanan said.
The tree's shallow root system may have been weakened by recent rains, according to the California Highway Patrol.
“Unfortunately, right now it looks like it’s a terrible event. We don’t know if the rain made that tree ultra heavy right now. Our hearts go out to the family involved in this collision and we’ll make sure on our end that we do a thorough investigation to figure out exactly what happened with that tree,” CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt said.
It could take several hours to cut up the fallen tree, remove the wrecked minivan and reopen the road.
The fallen tree was cut up and the wrecked minivan was removed from the road. Willow Glen Road reopened to traffic shortly after noon.