A married couple with five children has tragically died after a redwood tree fell on top of their car as they were driving for a weekend getaway.
Jessica and Jake Woodruff were driving on Thursday down Route 199 toward the coast in Northern California when the 175-foot-tall tree crashed down on their 2016 Honda Accord.
Jake, 36, was driving Jessica up the coast to celebrate her 45th birthday, an annual tradition for the couple, who live in Yreka with their children.
‘This was a shocking and unexpected event, and the tragedy of this accident makes it difficult to accept as real,’ family friend Amanda Maffei.
Those of you who know this family, know how tight-knit they are, and their lives will forever be changed,’ she added.
Officials say it was a pleasant day with no wind, calling the odds of a tree falling directly on a car astronomical.
‘We have trees everywhere. It’s in the middle of the redwoods. It’s just old growth and we have no idea why the tree fell. It was Mother Nature,’ California Highway Patrol Officer Brandy Gonzalez told SFGate.
‘The timing of everything was very, very unusual,’ she added.
‘I’ve been on the department for 19 years and I’ve been in this area 12 to 13 years and it’s very unusual. We’ve had trees fall down and cars make contact, but this kind of incident is very unusual,’ Gonzalez said.
Jake and Jessica are survived by their children, Megan, Evan, Casey, Allie, and Chelsea.