Yosemite National Park—This past summer, a 21-year-old lost her life and four adults were treated at hospitals after a tree fell at Camp Towanga near Yosemite National Park. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. had recently inspected the tree in question and apparently found nothing wrong with the oak. PG&E were required to inspect due to the presence of nearby power lines. Tuolumne County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Oliver called the incident a “freak accident.”
Annais Rittenberg, 21, was in her second year as a camp counselor for Camp Towanga, a Jewish camp in Yosemite, when the tree fell on a campfire circle of which she was a part. Fortunately, no children were injured, but Rittenberg lost her life and four other adults were hurt, two of whom had to be hospitalized.
Rittenberg is the sister of Adam Rittenberg, a popular ESPN college football reporter.
A “Spontaneous” Accident
While some trees fail with no apparent warning, it is not usual to find a large tree that simply falls over for no reason. An investigation of the ground around the tree as well as the condition of the plant itself is necessary to make a determination as to the true cause of such an accident.
Hiring an Expert Witness
Why do some trees fail and others do not? Evergreen Arborists Consultants has successfully answered this question on many cases. Our forensic tree risk assessment analysis has resulted in reducing millions of dollars in claimed damages as well as providing robust support resulting in awarding millions of dollars to injured parties. We provide detailed investigations, independent analysis, and expert witness testimony for tree failures and tree damage cases throughout California. We are California’s Arborists. Our senior arborist, Ruben Green, M.S. brings 28 plus years of arboriculture, landscape construction, design, irrigation, landscape maintenance, and landscape construction experience in support of negligence, premises liability, dangerous condition, and duty of care cases.
Source: New York Daily News, “Annais Rittenberg, 21, killed by falling tree in ‘freak accident’ at summer camp as children ate breakfast,” Bill Hutchinson, July 4, 2013.