Dennet Bermas Died In Accident After Falling Tree Hit Her Car At The Waterstone Garden Apartments
TUSTIN, CALIFORNIA (October 15, 2018) A 34-year old woman identified as Dennet Bermas tragically died in an accident when a falling eucalyptus tree hit her car at the Waterstone Garden Apartments on Red Hill Avenue.
Police are saying that the 40-foot-tall tree fell over in part due to the Santa Ana winds. A neighbor saw her leaving in the morning and said goodbye.
“I saw her leave her house and say ‘good morning, have a nice day,'” Danny McCabe, her neighbor, said. Just moments later a tree near her carport split in half at 9:15 a.m. and landed directly on her car.
Dennet Bermas was leaving for work at the time of the accident. Her neighbor rushed to the scene in order to help her once he noticed the tree hit her car. He tried speaking with her and checked for a pulse but was not able to detect one.
Dennet Bermas was unable to get out of her car and later died a the scene. Family and friends were stunned by what happened. “I don’t understand what happened. When he told me his wife passed away I felt…shocked,” said Norma Milo.
Firefighters worked furiously to cut the victim out of her car. Despite the large size of the tree it does not appear that anyone else was injured in the accident.
Residents at the Waterstone Garden Apartments are saying that this is the second time in only three years when a eucalyptus fell over. During the last accident a tree fell on the same carport.
Dennet Bermas worked as a nurse at an assisted living facility and was remembered as an extremely kind and loving person. Tustin police are still working to investigate the accident.
Preventing Trees From Falling Over
Trees don’t fall over randomly. There are often warning signs that a tree is becoming unhealthy or is more prone to tipping over. In particular, eucalyptus trees are prone to falling over because they have shallow roots. The roots often don’t do a good job of keeping the tree stable if the soil is loose or if something is placing pressure against the tree. Strong winds can cause eucalyptus trees to become lethal hazards. Property owners should inspect their trees periodically in order to make sure they aren’t in a dangerous condition. Here are just a few signs that a tree is healthy:
There should be evidence of yearly growth. Healthy trees will continue to grow over time. You can check tree growth by measuring the distance between this years buds and last years buds.
Dead or broken branches are a sign of poor tree health. Inspectors should look for this as they are examining the tree.
With the exception of birches and eucalyptus the bark on trees should not be peeling.
Trees should also be examined for signs of insects and disease. There are a number of species of insects that can cause a tree to lose its structural integrity. A lack of fruit, oozing sap or distortion in leaf size may also point to disease.
Falling trees can be lethal hazards that seriously injure and kill a number of people every year. Depending on the location of a tree when it fell, a property owner may face civil liability if anyone is injured or killed. A premises liability attorney can examine the facts of your case and let you know what your rights are.
Liability In Accidents Involving Falling Trees
Depending on the facts of this case, Waterstone Garden Apartments may potentially bear civil liability for the tragic death of Dennet Bermas. Generally speaking, property owners have a responsibility to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe manner. This includes doing periodic inspections on trees to make sure that they are safe. This is all the more important when there are eucalyptus trees because they are more likely than other trees to fall over. Inspectors should make sure that trees are healthy and free of disease and insects.
If a property owners knew a tree was in a dangerous condition (or should have known), they may be responsible for an accident involving a falling tree. Failure to conduct proper inspections, then, may amount to negligence. This is all the more crucial when there is a history of accidents involving falling trees on a property. A history of trees falling on a property demonstrates a pattern that the business owner should be aware of. Property owners may try to deny liability by arguing that a storm that caused the tree to fall over was an Act of God – under the common law. But this depends on the condition of the tree. A poorly maintained tree that fell over during a storm may still amount to negligence. These types of cases can be very complicated and are best examined by an experienced personal injury attorney.
Getting Help After An Accident Involving A Falling Tree
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Dennet Bermas. It is our sincere hope that there is a thorough investigation into what happened. This is not the first time that a tree has fallen over at this property. The owners of Waterstone Garden Apartments need to take steps to make sure their tenants are safe. It is only a matter of time before another person is injured or killed if the trees at this apartment complex are unsafe. Anyone that may have seen what happened should reach out to police.
If you or someone that you love has been injured or killed in an accident involving a falling tree you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys can investigate your case and let you know what your rights are. Property owners will often try to destroy evidence with respect to damaged or diseased trees. We can take steps to make sure that key pieces of evidence are being preserved. We’ve been helping families across California for over 40 years. Whether you just have questions about your rights or are seeking legal counsel for your particular situation we are here for you. You can reach us anytime at (888) 888-9285.
- Vikki Vargas. Family in Disbelief After Tree Splits, Falls on Woman’s Car and Kills Her. October 15, 2018
- VANESSA RICHINS MYERS. The Key Signs of a Healthy Tree. February 23, 2018.
- Judy Malmon. WHEN A TREE FALLS IN CALIFORNIA … 2018