PACIFIC BEACH — A well-known San Diego musician was killed Sunday when a massive pine tree fell during Sunday’s fierce storm and crushed her car and several other cars in Pacific Beach.
The 48-year-old woman in the passing car, who was identified by friends as musician Nicki Carano, was killed. She was on her way to Winstons in Ocean Beach to perform with her band Spider Tree. Friends described her as a talented drummer and a consummate professional, who inspired those around her.
The conifer, which was about 80 feet tall and had a diameter of about 6 feet, fell across Ingraham Street near Fortuna Avenue about 3:15 p.m., San Diego fire authorities said. It crashed onto three parked cars and a fourth car that was passing by. Carano, the driver of the passing car, was killed.
It took firefighters about two hours to cut away enough of the tree to get to the silver car. It took city workers four more hours to clear enough of the tree to open one lane. They worked through the night to clear the rest.
City officials are working to determine if a property owner or the city owns the tree, said Bill Harris, spokesman for the city of San Diego’s public works department. The conifer grew in front of a 10-unit condominium complex. Residents reached by phone Monday wouldn’t comment when asked who owned of the tree.
Dana Okey, who stopped by the location, said his mother used to own the property, and the condos were built in 1969. He said the property’s new owners wanted to remove the tree at one point, but couldn’t because it was on city property.
Another resident said that complications associated with the tree were commonplace. Dean Burriston, who lives directly across from where the tree was, said limbs have fallen onto cars and roots have buckled the road. He said he would see an arborist visit the tree about once a year.
“We’ve sat here, my wife and I, many times, wondering how far that tree would come if it ever did fall,” Burriston said. “We know now.”
News Story via San Diego Union Tribune: www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jan/31/falling-tree-kills-person-in-car