A massive oak tree toppled onto a Ukiah apartment early Saturday, crushing the home and killing a woman as she lay in her bed, fire officials said.
The accident happened just before 5 a.m. on the 700 block of El Rio Street, said Capt. Pete Bushby of the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority.
The 125-foot oak that had apparently become destabilized by heavy rain fell through the roof of a single-story apartment with three occupants, Bushby said. It collapsed the structure above a sleeping, 36-year-old woman while her boyfriend and a 3-year-old boy escaped.
“It just uprooted and fell right over,” Bushby said.
The woman’s name was not released Saturday. Firefighters were still working to remove her body as of 9 a.m. A crane and woodcutters had been called in to clear the tree.
The woman and her boyfriend were sleeping in the same bed when the accident happened, said Capt. John Strangio, also of Ukiah Valley Fire. A portion of the roof came down on the woman, just missing the man, Strangio said.
He crawled through the three-bedroom apartment, grabbed the boy and escaped, Strangio said. The woman’s 11-year-old daughter was away at a sleepover, he said. Additional details were not available Saturday.
“With the drought years we’ve had, and the amount of water we’ve had this year, this is a good reminder to make sure you’re getting your trees checked,” Strangio said.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @ppayne.