Alameda blames recent rains after tree falls on father watching daughter's softball game

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Alameda's Encinal High School's Varsity Softball Team is said to be devastated after a freak accident that sent a parent to the hospital. (KGO-TV)

Alameda's Encinal High School's Varsity Softball Team is said to be devastated after a freak accident that sent a parent to the hospital. The father became trapped underneath a fallen tree during a pre-season game on Friday at Washington Park.

"I heard a big smash on the floor so I went down here to check and there was dust coming my way," said 10 year old Louie Dill.

Dill was playing basketball on the upper blacktop when the tree came crashing down. He says he saw a woman and a man underneath the fallen tree. He says the woman was able to free herself, but the man, an Encinal parent who was watching his daughter play, was trapped.

"They had to chainsaw the branches and they got him out," said Dill.

The tree was a Monterey Pine. The City of Alameda says it appeared to be healthy but the wet soil from the recent rains may have been a factor. The fact that it was on a slope may also have contributed to its collapse. One park regular we talked with wasn't surprised by what happened.

"Well I've been watching it here for several years and I've been thinking, that thing is slanting over you see there's a lot of weight," said Richard Wood of Alameda.

As for the team, counselors will be at Encinal High School on Monday to help the players cope.

The team's coach says the girl's father faces a long recovery.

"Everyone is traumatized," said Susan Davis, a spokesperson for the Alameda Unified School District. "This is a horrible, horrible event. Our hearts go out to the family and to the team for having witnessed this."

Crews have since cut down another potentially vulnerable Monterey Pine out of "an abundance of caution".

The city assures the park is now safe.

Related Topics:
weatherrainstorm damageaccidenttree fallAlameda
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