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.