Family mourns young woman killed by tree

The old tree had stood for years before it fell at the exact moment 22-year-old Kenneisha Hawkins-Dale was driving by.
March 11, 2014 12:27:43 AM PDT
The old tree had stood for years before it fell at the exact moment 22-year-old Kenneisha Hawkins-Dale was driving by. Now, her family wants to know who is responsible for the tree that fell onto Interstate 80 on Sunday afternoon.

Johnnie Price was driving ahead of her great-grand daughter on Interstate 80 in Vacaville when she realized Kenneisha had dropped out of her rear-view mirror shortly after passing the old tree.

"It was leaning toward the freeway, but it was going when I went through it, or the other car behind me went through it," Price said.

By 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, the storms had long passed and the wind was down when the fate of Kenneisha and the old gnarled eucalyptus tree collided. It was a direct hit across the driver's seat, crushing the roof and the solo driver.

"That tree was dead; it should have been cut down a long time ago," Price said.

Caltrans said Monday it sent out a survey crew to find out how this happened and whether or not the tree was on state property.

"At this point, it does not appear the tree belongs to the state of California because there was a fence line there, and it actually fell across the fence line," Caltrans spokesperson Vince Jacala said.

Caltrans is now trying to determine who owns the tree. A tree that had experienced decades of time and took away the life of a person who had barely begun to experience her own.


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