Storm-blown tree kills man driving to work in Napa

March 20, 2011 7:28:16 PM PDT
The storm took the life of a Napa man who was driving to work when it blew in Saturday night.

It happened in Napa near Kelly Road and Highway 12, where it seems he simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. All day Sunday, co-workers quietly visited the spot where their friend was killed in a freak accident during the height of the storm.

"If you drank any wine off of the shelf, chances are Alex has helped print those labels," Tony Furtado told ABC7. "He's just a heck of a nice guy, a family man, always had lots to say about his wife and his kids and grandkids."

46-year-old Alex Naglal of Vallejo would be alive if not for a matter of seconds. At 10:20 Saturday night, he was on his way to work when a huge oak tree, six feet in diameter, toppled onto his SUV killing him instantly.

"What's the chance of that?" asked co-worker Phu Hoang. "It's one in a million or something it would hit him like that, you know."

Naglal was less than a mile away from the Collotype Label Company where he was about to start the overnight shift, running a machine that makes wine labels.

"He was just super nice. He came from the Philippines and he works and he's just? non-stop work," supervisor Jim Doe said.

A sister who also works at the plant became worried when he did not show up for his 11 p.m. shift. She slowly made the connection with the accident detour on her way to the plant.

"One of the coworkers had came upon the scene and didn't know it was Alex. But when we were at work and noticed that he wasn't there, his sister left to come and check the scene, and she came upon the scene that it was in fact Alex," CHP officer Furtado recalled.

The storm that brought down the tree on South Kelly Road also caused other trouble in the Napa Valley. Power lines mingled with wine grapes in Oakville where winds snapped utility poles. However, none of it was as tragic as the death of Alex Naglal.

"It was just terrible timing and again, terrible weather, heavy winds, heavy rains? just bad combination of events that led up to this tragedy," said CHP Officer Jaret Paulson.

Just Friday, Naglal was telling co-workers that next weekend he was planning to take his son to the Oakland Coliseum.

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