A large tree fell onto a car, killing a woman that was sitting inside in Anaheim as her young son played nearby.
The woman’s husband said he parked the car under the tree because it was a shady spot and he wanted his wife to be comfortable while she sat in the car. The family had stopped after church to play tennis with their 10-year-old son.
Manuel Cruz says the family of three would often stop by the tennis courts after church and park near the large tree to take advantage of the shade.
“She was a fun mom. We always played together, but now I can’t because she’s up with God already,” said Kevin Cruz, her son.
It’s a heartbreaking new reality for the 10-year-old who says he was at Pearson Park playing tennis with his father Manuel Cruz on Sunday afternoon when he heard a loud crack.
The father immediately left the court and found a 60-foot Bur Oak tree had fallen on top of their family car.
Her husband tried to move the tree but he couldn’t do it on his own. His wife, 62-year-old Maria De la Luz Cruz was in the backseat.
Authorities say she died instantly.
“We just know that an incredibly freak thing happened here on Sunday,” said Mike Lyster, the Chief Communications Officer for the City of Anaheim.
Regular parkgoers are all asking the same question on Monday, ‘how did this happen?'”
Lyster says an arborist examined the tree on Sunday night and found healthy water flow throughout.
“There is no indication with these trees here or the tree that we took away last night that they were not thriving, living trees,” Lyster said. “Just experiencing dormancy during winter.”
Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken released a statement saying in part “with sorrow and sympathy, our thoughts and prayers are with the family that has lost a loved one in this unthinkable time.”