Five-year-old parents die after a 175-foot sequoia tree falls on their car while driving along the California coast for a birthday outing
- Jessica and Jake Woodruff were killed in the California incident on Thursday
- The couple drove up the coast to celebrate Jessica’s 45th birthday
- Redwood tree fell and hit on top of their car as they drove a scenic side road
- They leave behind four daughters and a son who are devastated by the loss
- Officials say it was a rare freak accident and there was no wind that day
A married couple with five children tragically died after a redwood tree fell on their car while driving for a weekend trip.
Jessica and Jake Woodruff were driving along Route 199 to the coast in Northern California on Thursday when the 175-foot-tall tree crashed on their 2016 Honda Accord.
Jake, 36, drove Jessica down 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 wrote of a GoFundMe campaign to support the couple’s five children.
Jessica and Jake Woodruff were driving Route 199 to the coast in Northern California on Thursday when the 175-foot tree crashed on their 2016 Honda Accord.
The aftermath of the accident is seen. The couple drove up the coast to celebrate Jessica’s 45th birthday, an annual tradition for the couple who live in Yreka with their children.
Jake and Jessica are survived by their children (above), Megan, Evan, Casey, Allie and Chelsea
“We ask anyone who can support them to please do this as these children are facing the devastating reality of what has just been torn from their lives in a split second,” Maffei wrote.
“Those of you who know this family know how close they are, and their lives will change forever,” she added.
Officials say it was a pleasant day with no wind, and called 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 me SFGate
Friends and family were devastated by the deaths of Jessica (above) and Jake in the accident
The couple’s two oldest children are shown above. Officials call the accident ‘very unusual’
Officials say it was a pleasant day with no wind, and called the chances of a tree falling directly on a car astronomical
“The timing of everything was very, very unusual,” she added.
‘I’ve been in the department for 19 years and I’ve been in this area for 12 to 13 years and it’s very unusual. We’ve dropped trees and cars are making contact, but incidents like this are very uncommon, ”Gonzalez said.
Jake and Jessica are survived by their children, Megan, Evan, Casey, Allie and Chelsea.
The GoFundMe campaign for the family had raised more than $ 88,000 on Monday.
The fatal tree fell on Route 199, where it passes through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
Conditions on the ground were ‘clear and dry’ when the accident occurred just before noon
The fatal incident took place in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, which preserves old-growth redwoods along the Smith River.
The portion is located along US Route 199 approximately nine miles east of Crescent City.
The park is named after 19th-century explorer Jedediah Smith, the first U.S. citizen to cross the Mojave Desert to enter present-day California.