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Arborist: Trees Near One That Killed Citrus Heights Driver Also Pose Risk

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Anjali Hemphill Anjali Hemphill
Anjali Hemphill joined CBS 13 in June 2012 and she's happy to make the...
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CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) — Days after a tree fell on a car and killed the driver, questions remain about how it could have been prevented.

The large oak tree stood in the median of a very busy Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights.

The family of 25-year-old Travis Chapman is still too upset to talk about his death.

Arborist John Spurgin is taking a closer look at what’s left of a tree that fell and killed Chapman as he drove by.

“The overburden of weight, two crotches, protruded bark, the rainwater, it just broke,” he said.

Chapman was driving along Sunrise Boulevard with his girlfriend in the car on Saturday when the tree split in half, and part of it fell on top of them. Chapman died at the scene.

His girlfriend was taken to the hospital, and survived.

Pushing for more answers, we called an an arborist ourselves. he says there were signs the tree that fell was in trouble.

“It was hit by a car or something, or construction or something years ago caused it to decay,” he said. “It’s an old wound. You can see the decay in the stump.

He says other trees nearby need close attention in order to prevent something so tragic from happening here again.

“The third tree down there has been hit by a car. It’s been compromised—compromised enough to where probably somebody should take it out before it has a problem,” he said.

The city says it’s still waiting for a written report from their arborist, and it will taken action based on those recommendations. But that report could take some time.

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