California Highway Patrol officers and Department of Transportation workers respond to a fatal accident on westbound Interstate 80 at Cherry Glen Road in Vacaville, Sunday. A eucalyptus tree fell onto westbound I-80, crushed the car a young woman was driving and killed her. (Adam Smith/Daily Republic)

Solano County

Tree falls, kills young driver on WB I-80 in Vacaville

By From page A1 | March 10, 2014

VACAVILLE — A falling tree hit and killed a woman driving Sunday afternoon on westbound Interstate 80 near Cherry Glen Road.

The California Highway Patrol responded to the incident about 1:55 p.m. just west of the overpass, where a woman was found dead in a car about 1/4 mile past a fallen tree.

CHP officer Todd Fetterly said branches from a diseased tree fell on top of a Toyota Camry in the slow lane and crushed the driver, a woman in her early 20s.

The two right lanes of traffic as well as the I-80 on ramp from Cherry Glen Road were blocked while CHP and the California Department of Transportation investigated the scene. The Solano County Coroner was called shortly after 2 p.m.. Vehicles from Caltrans and CHP surrounded the scene near the on ramp as the woman’s body was loaded into the coroner’s van.

An official said the victim’s family was nearby.

Broken glass littered the shoulder near the fallen tree, which toppled from a row of eucalyptus on rural land adjacent to the freeway. Caltrans officials were investigating whether the tree was on state or private property. Caltrans public information officer Vince Jacala said they were looking into it with the city of Vacaville.

A severe traffic alert was issued at 2:55 p.m. after westbound traffic backed up to Davis. One lane of traffic was reopened about 3 p.m. The slow lane was reopened just before 3:30 p.m.

In an initial report about 1:45 p.m., CHP was alerted that a tree was blocking two lanes of traffic and that a vehicle – possibly disabled – was on the right shoulder of the road, according to the CHP traffic website. Authorities were notified soon afterward that a tree limb fell on a passing vehicle, shattering the windshield, and that drivers of several vehicles had stopped to help.

Fetterly said a vehicle that was following behind the victim sustained minor damage and the motorist, who stopped to check on the woman, alerted authorities.

Glen Faison and Adam Smith contributed to this report. Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.

Adrienne Harris

Adrienne Harris

Adrienne joined the Daily Republic in September 2009. She earned her journalism degree at the University of Florida in 2005 and has worked at newspapers in Fort Pierce, Fla.; Las Cruces, N.M.; and El Paso, Texas.

Discussion | 12 comments

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  • Tax PayerMarch 10, 2014 - 6:03 am

    yeah, that could have happened to anyone of us. I wonder if Jerry is going to spend a little of his extra billions to address the rest of the disease trees.

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  • The MisterMarch 10, 2014 - 7:12 am

    The first thing Cal-Trans did upon figuring out what happened was to start pointing fingers and saying, "It's not our tree... it's not ours... belongs to Vacaville... belongs to anyone but Cal-Trans." Yes, Seedy, a young lady was killed. Wouldn't it be better if various governments took our tax money and spent it on making sure our infrastructure is safe... rather than having more freak accidents like this?

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  • CD BrooksMarch 10, 2014 - 7:28 am

    The Mister, not the time for political diatribe.

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  • Next DoorMarch 10, 2014 - 11:51 am

    Mr Brooks, your so wise, when is the time right to discuss politics? we shall stop time and wait for your response....

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  • GemmaMarch 10, 2014 - 8:51 am

    The Mister, I completely agree. Someone died, and it's incredibly sad, but what would be sadder is it it happens again, because no one wants to take responsibility for the friggen tree! Acknowledging that this is a problem doesn't take away from the fact a life was lost. What about the fire on Marigold? So many families displaced, and the first thing we hear about the fire, other than how did it start is-"Whose responsible for this patch of land next to the freeway", and immediately the blame game started, just like in this case. What about Blood Alley, Highway 12? Again, it's very sad that this young lady died, but how many people have died and continue to die on Hwy 12, and what is the reason nothing is being done? Again, finger pointing-It's Sacramento's responsibility, no It's Stockton's Respoonsibility, No it's Suisun's responsibility, no It's Caltrans, etc, etc. Point remains the same-lives are being lost while people point fingers, and NO ONE does anything to fix these problems. A tree falling on a car on the freeway? That should not be happening.What about the NYE Flood in VV back in 05, when it rained and the creeks overflowed? What happened then? Finger pointing of course, but that didn't help the people whose homes and cars were flooded, ALL of these things I mentioned CAN be fixed, if people would stop pointing fingers, man up, and actually do something. If not, we're going to continue to read sad stories, of lives lost, that didn't have to happen. While this "may not be the place or time to discuss this", we wouldn't have to if things were done, instead of falling to the wayside while people finger point. You're nuts if you think this girls family isn't asking themselves right now WHY and HOW this was allowed to happen. May she RIP.

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  • Tax PayerMarch 10, 2014 - 6:31 pm

    CD, condolences to the family and go after Brown in a lawsuit. You see Cal Trans doesn't care about the victim, only to point finger at Vacaville.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 10, 2014 - 6:42 pm

    Tax Payer et al, I appreciate your concerns about government although I don't see where Brown has anything to do with this? I just thought it was a little early to use this story to air political grievances.

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  • Rick WoodMarch 10, 2014 - 6:14 am

    Eucalyptus trees in California are basically weeds and should be eradicated where they grow uncontrolled or in dangerous locations like this, uninspected. If the vehicle was 1/4 mile past the tree, it must have continued to move after the tree struck it. Our sympathies go out to the family and friend of the victim.

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  • R. LeeMarch 10, 2014 - 8:38 am

    My condoulences also. I hope the family finds a way to get compensated. PG&E. has to be held accountable for thier pipelines, and trees near power lines. If it was deceased the owner should be held accountable.

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  • abramMarch 10, 2014 - 5:13 pm

    Brooks is a hater and always has been....p.o.s.

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  • abramMarch 10, 2014 - 5:14 pm

    Oh and he is always right.....even when it is grossly obvious he is......well the d.r. will not post what I want to say. Brooks needs a life!

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  • CD BrooksMarch 10, 2014 - 6:18 pm

    abram, never hate but I point out those that do. I always bring facts and solid opinions. How about you? Yeah exactly.

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