Almanac

News - August 7, 2013

Huge tree limb falls on car

A huge oak tree limb broke off and landed on a car parked near the gym at the Menlo Park Civic Center around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 28.

The car was seriously damaged.

Menlo Park police spokeswoman Nicole Acker said the owner of the car was outside the vehicle when the tree fell, and initially he wasn't sure if he'd been hit. Medics evaluated him for a complaint of knee pain.

Is the city of Menlo Park liable in this case? City Attorney Bill McClure said that, generally, car insurance policies pay for the damages, which could be recovered by the insurer only if the city was at fault or negligent.

While Menlo Park does periodically inspect its trees, he wasn't sure when this one had last been looked at and noted that with oak trees, "you cannot tell whether there is some weakness or problem oftentimes until after a branch breaks off or the entire tree comes down."

— Sandy Brundage

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