CITRUS HEIGHTS –
“She just said she was just going down the road and she heard a loud crack or something and next thing she knew there was a tree coming at her,” said Frankinburger.
Frankinburger said it was not a miracle, but luck, that his wife walked out of the wreckage. The van’s roof was completely caved in. Citrus Heights Police say the van may have also hit a power pole during the crash.
“My heart goes out to the people who did lose their loved ones today,” said Frankinburger.
Police have not yet released the name of the person who died at the scene, or the passenger in that vehicle. However, police did say the passenger was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries
Emergency crews cut into that vehicle for several hours in an attempt to free the deceased driver’s body. When the tree fell from the center divide, it split in two, with large limbs falling on both sides of the road. One of those limbs crushed the roof of the car in the left lane, pinning the driver’s body inside. Chainsaws and a wood chipper were used to break down the large tree limbs that blocked traffic on both sides of Sunrise Boulevard between Sayonara Drive and Locher Way for nearly eight hours.
“If I hadn’t been trying to get the sod finished in the backyard, I would have been with her. I feel like, if I was, maybe I could of done something. But I know in reality, there wasn’t anything I could have done,” said Frankinburger.
Frankinburger said his wife, Gina, was released from the hospital by 6 p.m. with bruises on her arm.
“I almost lost my world in one moment,” said Frankinburger.