(NEXSTAR) – Two people from Yreka, California, died Thursday when a redwood tree fell on their vehicle, the California Highway Patrol said.
A 36-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman were traveling south on Highway 199 in Del Norte County, a region known for its massive redwoods.
Suddenly, a tree uprooted, crushing the couple.
“It’s the most unusual incident I’ve seen in my 19-year career,” said Brandy Gonzalez, a public information officer with the CHP in Crescent City.
Gonzalez said the tree uprooted likely “due to Mother Nature.”
“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 timing in this case was just crazy.”
A GoFundMe for the bereaved family identified the victims as Jessica and Jake Woodruff. According to the fundraising page, the Woodruffs were parents to five children and were taking a road trip to celebrate Jessica Woodruff’s 45th birthday.
“This was a shocking and unexpected event, and the tragedy of this accident makes it difficult to accept as real,” the GoFundMe reads.
As of Monday, the page had raised $87,000 of its $150,000 goal.