Reporting Ian Schwartz
EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) – A Shingle Springs man was killed Tuesday by a tree that fell on his truck while he was driving a young boy to school in El Dorado County.
At about 8 a.m., a 48-year-old man and a 10-year-old boy were traveling at about 40 mph in a Ford F-150 pickup truck on westbound Green Valley Road, approaching Ponderosa Road, when a tree on the north side of the road began to fall across the road, according to to the California Highway Patrol.
The driver, Bryan Vandeventer, apparently swerved to avoid the tree, but instead the tree fell directly on the cab, killing him. The boy, who was sitting in the back seat, was unharmed.
Vandeventer was taking his girlfriend’s son to Rescue Elementary School. The young boy was forced to witness the freak accident and sudden death from just inches away.
A teenage witness said there was nothing anyone could do to help.
“Pretty fast, just driving, boom, and I was just sitting there like ‘Oh my god,’” Brian Hansen said. “Just basically from there I was just shocked, didn’t know what to think.”
Emergency responders said the oak tree just became oversaturated with all the rain.
“We’ve had a lot of rain, the oak trees soak up a lot of water, these were older trees, and it was a freak accident,” Rescue Fire Protection District Chief Thomas Keating said.
Other students on the way to school saw the accident’s aftermath and grief councilors were on hand to help.
The chief said this is one of the strangest incidents he has seen in a long time.