Investigators are exploring moist soil, trimmed roots, and a 3.5 magnitude earthquake that shook Orange County as possible causes of the September 15th accident that claimed the life of Haeyoon Miller, a 29-year-old female resident of Orange County.
A magnitude 3.5 earthquake that took place off Newport Beach about 2:56 a.m. Thursday may have played a role, though there easily could have been other contributing factors, according to Lisa Grant Ludwig, a UC Irvine seismologist.
But soil conditions, whether the ground was wet or slanted, and the health of the tree, are all potential factors that could have felled the 50-foot blue gum eucalyptus, she said. The city of Newport Beach, which has a contract with the city of Costa Mesa to maintain the trees near the cities’ shared borders, said in a statement that the city is investigating what felled the tree. LA Times, September 17th, 2011.
We’ll keep you updated as the investigation continues.