Our colleagues at the Fire Department deserve some pretty big kudos for their quick action on this one!
This morning (December 11, 2014), at approximately 8:20 AM, emergency personnel including police, fire and paramedics responded to Gateway School at 126 Eucalyptus Ave on a report of a downed tree with a student trapped underneath. The incident occurred as the Santa Cruz area was experiencing a significant weather storm with unusually high winds.
First Responders arriving at the scene found a large Cypress tree had snapped and fell onto the playground area. The trunk of the tree was approx. 60-80 feet in length and approximately 2 feet in diameter.
There were a number of children in the area waiting for the school day to begin. The downed tree fell across a picnic table where students were congregating. When the tree fell, it trapped an 11 year old male student underneath, pinning his arm and shoulder.
Santa Cruz Fire Department crews acted quickly, using heavy equipment to stabilize the trunk of the tree. Once stabilized, fire crews used chainsaws to cut the tree away from the trapped child. The injured child was transported to Dominican Hospital. Miraculously, the child’s injuries were not life threatening. He is expected to be treated and released from the hospital.
Another 11 year old female was also hit by branches when the tree fell. She was treated at the scene for minor injuries and released to her parents.
Gateway School officials collaborated in a seamless response with emergency personnel. School officials closed the school for the remainder of the day and reunited all of the students with parents.
It is an absolute miracle that these students did not sustain more serious injuries and that no other students were injured as well.