glendale, cul-de-sac, tree, crushed, woman, hurt

GLENDALE (CBSLA) — A Tujunga woman was crushed by a tree walking through a Glendale neighborhood Sunday — and residents say the accident never should have happened.

Patricia Kennedy has been at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena after a massive oak tree fell on her Sunday afternoon as she was taking a stroll through a cul-de-sac in Glendale.

Carolyn Dyer says she wishes she could trade places with Kennedy, her partner of nearly 20 years.

“She’s not talking. She’s under sedation,” Dyer said. “She went through massive surgery. She must’ve been in surgery four or five hours.”

“I spoke with the orthopedic surgeon. Her legs were crushed under the tree and two of her fingers, mainly the left side,” Dyer added.

The freak accident happened right in front of Melissa Walch’s home.

“We heard a big crack and I saw the woman walk back just enough and cover her head and the tree was on her. It was in seconds,” Walch said.

The trees are indigenous to this area. Neighbors say the rules for trimming them isn’t clear cut because state laws that protect them.

“We have wanted and asked and in my neighbors actively pleaded with the city to come and take care of this area,” said neighbor Stephanie Ghiya.

“I don’t know what her situation is going to be. I’m just scared. I want to make sure she can walk,” Dyer added.

A spokesperson for the city says an arborist will be consulted to determine why the tree came down. CBS2/KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen reports other trees in the area will also be inspected.

A Southern California arborist meanwhile warns more trees could come down following heavier-than-usual rain and wind in the last week, adding the combination could be dangerous for damaged trees.

“If the soil is saturated that tree is more likely to fail,” Rebecca Latta said.

Latta advises her clients to look for mushroom growth, weeping or sapping, tree die-back and recently broken branches. Latta says those are signs something could be wring and an expert should be contacted.

Tips on how to keep your trees healthy are available here.

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