Tahoe City woman, 43, killed after tree crushes Subaru
January 13, 2017
OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — One person was killed Thursday evening when a tree fell onto a car that was moving through slow and snow-affected traffic near Lake Tahoe.
At about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the tree fell on a Subaru that was traveling on Highway 89 southbound, just north of the Squaw Valley intersection, Pete Mann, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol Truckee branch, told the Sierra Sun Thursday evening.
The driver of the vehicle — a 43-year-old Tahoe City woman — was killed in the incident, Mann confirmed. No one else was in the car, he said. The woman's name is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.
At the time of the incident, Mann said it wasn't windy, and snow was light and variable.
"It was kind of just one of those things," he said when asked to comment on weather conditions surrounding the incident. "This is all speculation, but the soil (across the region) is really moist, and there's a heavy snow load sitting on trees."
The tree also fell onto a nearby Cadillac Escalade, Mann said — the sole male occupant escaped uninjured.
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A second tree fell onto a Tesla vehicle near the scene, Mann said, shortly after the first tree fell.
The male driver of the Tesla had exited the vehicle to inspect the scene of the Subaru. The man's family members inside the Tesla were unharmed, Mann said.
Crews cleared the scene, and Highway 89 was reopened to through traffic at about 10 p.m. Thursday.
The incident remains under investigation; no further details were known due to the complexity of the scene, Mann said.
The incident occurred in roughly the same location as where a tree fell at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. No one was hurt in that incident, although the highway was closed for more than 2 hours.