NEWPORT BEACH (CBS) — Crews have begun removing trees on a street on the Costa Mesa-Newport Beach border where a Tustin woman was killed after a eucalyptus fell on her car.

There are more than 100 blue gum eucalyptus trees located in a long hedgerow within the Irvine Avenue median.

haeyoon miller Newport Beach Crews Remove Trees After Driver Killed By Fallen Eucalyptus

(credit: CA Department Of Motor Vehicles)

The decision to begin removing the trees was made late Tuesday afternoon after an independent arborist suggested the plan to Newport Beach city officials, a city spokesperson said.

“We asked the team of arborists to first focus their attention on the remaining trees,” Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff said. “That has been the priority for the past four days.

“The arborists called for the removal of the trees. They suggested that the eucalyptus hedgerow that was initially planted many years ago could have been affected as individual trees aged, were removed or fell.”

Police from Costa Mesa and Newport Beach will work together in monitoring the closure of Irvine Avenue. Both cities, in 2002, took on joint responsibility for the trees.

Kiff said that, although the trees are well-liked by residents, city officials “believe that the most prudent decision is to remove them all.”

Kiff promised that “we will look forward to working with the community on a new street tree alternative for Irvine Avenue.”

tree tragedy Newport Beach Crews Remove Trees After Driver Killed By Fallen Eucalyptus

(credit: CBS)

The roadway will remain closed through 5 p.m. Thursday.

Haeyoon Miller, 29, died when a tree in the hedgerow fell on her car Thursday.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (5)
  1. Don says:

    After I found out about this horrific event, I google mapped the area where the trees are. If you look at the tree that fell (the third one down from the end, you can see that it is not exactly straight up and down. In fact, it is at an angle suggesting that the tree was bound to fall. Maybe the island where the tree was growing was too small for how big the roots had developed, causing the tree to be unstable at the root level. I smell a lawsuit in the making. My sympathies for the family of this poor unfortunate woman. RIP.

  2. Kim Jones says:

    A day late and a dollar short, reast assured some bottom feeding, blood sucking attorney is going to have a field day with that gravy train.

  3. azuresees says:

    Eukes are just big weeds with bark…There should be a bounty on their harvest….

  4. P.J. says:

    The City of Long Beach should be taking notice of this horrific incident. On Fanwood Ave. between Woodruff and Wardlow the are rows of 60 year old ficus trees that are over 100 feet tall, (google the area), you can not even the the homes or the street the foliage is so dense. In the past decade several trees have fallen on cars or their heavy branches have fallen causing property damage. I have contacted the city over 10 times about the removal of the two adajacent to my property, their answer is always “they are healthy they stay.”

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