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UPDATE: Edward Poulson, Marie Poulson Killed In Bass Lake Car Accident After Falling Tree Hit Their Jeep On Beasore Road


Nov 1, 2019

Edward “Matt” Poulson, Marie “Iva” Poulson: Edward Poulson, Marie Poulson of Yosemite Lake Park Killed In Bass Lake Car Accident After Falling Tree Hit Their Jeep On Beasore Road

BASS LAKES, CALIFORNIA (October 1, 2019) – A married couple identified as Edward Poulson and Marie Poulson have tragically died after a falling tree hit their Jeep Rubicon causing the car to veer down the side of an embankment along Beasore Road. 

California Highway Patrol are saying that the accident took place around 9:25 p.m. Edward Poulson and Marie Poulson went out for a drive on Sunday night but never returned. 

Their son reported them missing on Monday afternoon. A Forest Service Ranger was able to notice car fragments by the side of the road. The couples Jeep was found at the bottom of an embankment. 

Police believe that the couple’s Jeep was hit by a large tree causing it to careen down the embankment. The Jeep then hit several other trees before coming to a stop.

Both Edward Poulson and Marie Poulson were pronounced dead at the scene. The California Highway Patrol are still investigating the circumstances of the crash. 

Liability In Accidents Involving Falling Trees

Accidents involving falling trees may seem like a freak occurrence, but they are actually relatively common. According to data from OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) around 100 people every year die in accidents involving falling trees. Many more are seriously injured. A number of these accidents involve Eucalyptus trees which tend to have very shallow roots. Property owners including cities have a legal responsibility to check their trees and look for signs that the trees do not have any disease or decay. Here are just a few of the 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.

If a city fails to examine the trees on their properties or fails to remove unhealthy trees they could be liable through a premises liability claim. According to the California Civil Code § 1714 subsection (a), “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.”

The family of any victim that died in an accident involving a falling tree may have legal recourse through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and loss of love. According to the statute, beneficiaries in a civil claim can include the victim’s children, siblings, parents or spouse. Unfortunately, cities will often fight hard to deny liability for any accident involving a falling tree. A premises liability attorney can examine all of the facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are. 

Investigating An Accident Involving A Falling Tree

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Edward Poulson and Marie Poulson. Any person that may have seen what happened should reach out to the California Highway Patrol as they continue to investigate. It is our sincere hope that city officials will take measures to check the trees along this stretch of road and make sure that they aren’t prone to tipping over. 

If you or someone that you care about has been involved in a car accident involving a falling tree you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights so that they can make informed decisions. Whether you just have questions about the law or need a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

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