Two-year-old boy killed after giant redwood tree falls on trailer home as bomb cyclone hits California

Two-year-old boy killed after giant redwood tree falls on trailer home as bomb cyclone hits California
Redwood Community Pharmacy in McKinleyville is closed after strong gusts of wind toppled a tree and damaged the business (Twitter/@AustinCastroTV)

OCCIDENTAL, CALIFORNIA: A deadly storm on Wednesday, December 4, claimed the life of an infant after a redwood tree fell onto a Sonoma County home.

Authorities said the two-and-a-half-year-old boy died after the giant tree fell on a double-wide mobile home Wednesday evening as a massive storm ravaged the state. The tragedy befell in Occidental, California, which is about 70 miles northwest of San Francisco in Sonoma County, as hurricane-force winds pummeled parts of the state as part of the bomb cyclone that has caused heavy rainfall and flooding. 

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“One of our major incidents we’ve had involved a redwood tree falling on a house … and we had a fatality up there of a minor -- infant, actually. A one-to-two-year-old infant,” Ron Lunardi, the fire chief in Occidental, said in an interview with ABC 10.

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According to the fire chief, the child was at home with his mother and father when the accident occurred. “When I first arrived on scene, a frantic father came out of the house holding the child. He was kind of covered in debris and he said my child is not breathing,” Lunardi said. “We are in a rural location out here so my first thought was to get him into my truck and let’s get him out to the main road because he is on a long dirt driveway. I got the father into the truck. As I was backing up down the driveway in reverse I was giving him instructions to breathe his child for him and as we did we got back out to the main road where I met the rescue squad and they immediately grabbed the child from the father and started CPR and waited for the paramedics to get there.”

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While neither parent was injured when the tree fell, the young boy succumbed to his injuries. “Any time you have a situation like this, especially with a child, everybody’s emotions are a lot higher,” Lunardi added.

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According to the National Weather Service, winds of at least 50 mph were forecast Wednesday night and gusts of up to 70 mph are possible near Northern California’s coast, according to the National Weather Service. This could also result in flooding rain and mudslides across the state over the next several days. While the extent of the flood risk will not be known until later in the week, the rain and wind can cause a lot of damage. At least four people were killed during the earlier storms, including a 72-year-old who was struck by a falling tree in Santa Cruz. Authorities also found two bodies near where the Cosumnes River flooded in Sacramento County, and another body was located farther south, west of Galt, per LA Times.



 

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“The strong winds we’re expecting today on already-saturated soils and additional rainfall expected in the next 24 to 48 hours are really going to exacerbate the flooding concerns and the potential for wind damage and downed trees,” Roger Gass, a meteorologist with the Bay Area National Weather Service, told LA Times.

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