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Costa Mesa: Tree Fell on Car, Killing Driver Haeyoon Miller

Posted on Sep 17, 2011

At around 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 15th, a tree fell on a car in Costa Mesa, killing the driver, 29-year-old Haeyoon Miller of Tustin. The 50-foot-tall, 10-ton eucalyptus tree came crashing down on Miller’s vehicle at the intersection of Irvine Avenue and 17th Street, the impact crushing the occupant compartment, explains an Orange County injury lawyer. Rescuers used 4-by-4s and airbags to temporarily lift the tree off the vehicle to enable paramedics to administer aid. While treating the woman, the tree dropped a few inches; however, additional injuries were not suffered. Unfortunately, she died at the scene of the accident. 

Authorities are investigating what caused the 60-year-old bluegum eucalyptus to suddenly fall. A preliminary, external examination of the tree by the city’s arborist did not reveal any signs of disease. The city plans to conduct an internal examination of the tree, as well. Authorities have also begun investigating the condition of the eucalyptus trees that line Irvine Avenue and other city streets. 

A native of Tasmania and southeastern Australia, bluegum eucalyptus was first introduced to California in 1856 and has since been widely used for ornamental purposes throughout the state, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The tree, which generally does not form a taproot, or primary root, usually reaches its maximum height by age 10.

All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer our condolences to the family of Haeyoon Miller, the woman who was killed when the tree fell on her car last Thursday.

The Orange County Register originally reported this Costa Mesa accident.

Resources for accident victims and their families, including books and articles on the process of pursuing an injury or a wrongful death claim, are available to the public free of charge.

If you would like to request one of these free resources, or to speak with an Orange County injury lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596.

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