A woman was killed Monday when part of a towering eucalyptus tree fell onto her sedan as she was pulling out of a carport in Tustin amid gusty Santa Ana winds.
Firefighters were called at 9:15 a.m. to an apartment complex at 14421 Red Hill Ave., said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito.
Dennet O. Bermas, 34, of Tustin was pronounced dead at the scene, marking the first casualty resulting from the high winds buffeting the Southern California region. The victim lived at the apartment complex where the accident happened, said Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The section of tree that fell also brought some power lines with it.
A neighbor told KCAL9 he tried to reach the woman in the car, minutes after bidding her a good morning, but it was too late.
“I saw the car crushed,” Danny McCabe told the station. “The neighbors said there’s somebody in there. I ripped off the branches and asked, `Hello ma’am, can you hear me?’ I checked for a pulse in her wrist. I checked for a pulse in her throat and I couldn’t feel any. There (were) live wires behind the car, and there’s nothing I could do.”
Southern California Edison was called regarding downed power lines at the location, Bommarito said, noting that wires were “down all over Tustin and Santa Ana” due to the high winds.