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Arborist: Tree That Killed Woman On Interstate 80 Was Dead For Years

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VACAVILLE (CBS13) — A day after a tree fell on a car driving along Interstate 80 and killed the driver, questions are arising if the tragedy could have been prevented.

Kenneisha Dale, 22, was killed when a eucalyptus tree fell directly on top of her Toyota Camry as she drove along Interstate 80 near Cherry Glen Road.

“This certainly could have been prevented, and it’s an unfortunate event that I believe was overlooked,” said arborist Chris Fosnaugh.

He says the tree should have been taken down years ago.

“It’s very obvious the tree has been dead a number of years,” he said. “It was decaying and it was just a matter of time before it was going to fall over.”

One neighbor CBS13 spoke to says her complaints about the decaying trees have gone unanswered for months.

“The county doesn’t care,” she said. “I don’t have the money or resources, and I tried to get an estimate, but it’s so expensive.

Neither Vacaville or Solano County have a specific tree ordinance. And since the tree appears to be on private property, they say no action will be taken by either agency on the property owner.

“In my professional opinion if you know you got a dead tree by the road it would be your responsibility to take care of it,” Fosnaugh said. “If the property owner was aware this tree was dead—that I don’t know.”

While this accident is rare, Fosnaugh say a eucalyptus tree falling is not.

“They are prone to falling,” he said. “They are very heavy. Native to Australia and when they come down the come down pretty hard and heavy.”

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