Tree falls, kills Novato man on UC Berkeley campus

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- The weekend storm caused a fatal accident on the UC Berkeley campus. A 250 foot eucalyptus tree fell Sunday afternoon, crushing a vehicle and killing the driver inside.

The coroner has identified the man as Alexander Grant, 32, of Novato.

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The tree came crashing down on the vehicle Sunday around 3:48 p.m. The conditions were wet and windy.

All my life, I've never had anything like this happen to me. I've seen trees come down," said adjunct professor Paul Lum, who routinely walks around campus. "Yesterday, it was a pretty large storm."

Gayley Road, near the Greek Theater, was closed for much of the day as tree service workers continued to clean up debris. They even chopped down another eucalyptus tree nearby.

"Let's hope it was a freak accident. I doubt it's going to be something that continues to happen but definitely something the campus should be aware of," said Brandon Wood, a graduate student.

Campus officials say they're in the process of reviewing ongoing tree assessments.

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Last month, a protest delayed the removal of dozens of trees from UC-owned 'People's Park' in Berkeley. Trees are being cut down as part of a wider project to catch up on deferred maintenance.

Students believe more can be done to better maintain the trees.

"Look at the structural integrity of some of these trees to make sure it's not dangerous to anybody," said Wood.
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