The married couple who were killed by a falling redwood tree that struck their vehicle on a California road trip were the victims of “crazy” timing, authorities said.
California Highway Patrol spokeswoman Brandy Gonzalez said that a freak accident was to blame for the deaths last week of Jessica and Jake Woodruff near Crescent City, news station KTLA reported.
“It’s the most unusual incident I’ve seen in my 19-year career,” Gonzalez told the outlet, adding that “the timing in this case was just crazy.”
Gonzalez said the 175-foot-tall tree was likely uprooted by a natural cause, such as a storm, when it smashed into their car on Highway 199 near Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
“We’re very prone to Mother Nature in this area,” she said. “We do have trees come across lanes sometimes, and we think, ‘Luckily it didn’t hurt anybody.’”
The Woodruffs were parents to five children and had been taking a road trip to celebrate Jessica’s 45th birthday, as part of an annual tradition, according to a GoFundMe page.
“This was a shocking and unexpected event, and the tragedy of this accident makes it difficult to accept as real,” the page’s author wrote.