Tree falls onto El Cajon Boulevard in El Cajon, hitting vehicle

No injuries reported after melaleuca tree falls

EL CAJON, Calif. - A melaleuca tree fell onto El Cajon Boulevard in El Cajon, hitting a vehicle passing by but causing no injuries.

The incident was reported at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 400 block of El Cajon Boulevard, near Chamberlain Avenue, according to El Cajon city spokeswoman Monica Zech.

The driver of the vehicle that was hit was not injured. 10News spoke with the driver, Chris Andrews, minutes after the tree fell on his truck.

"I'm fine, yeah," said Andrews. "Just a little kind of surprised that a tree is going to fall right in my way. It's been a windy day but I didn't realize it was that windy."

Miraculously, Andrews was able to pull over and walk away unscathed.

His truck was not as lucky. He showed 10News his smashed windshield and the dent on the roof of his cab. Branches of the paperbark tree were still stuck in his windshield wipers and in the bed of the truck.

"It hit the windshield and kind of bounced over the truck," Andrews said. "But when I came and looked, it was just dry rot. Nobody was cutting a tree down. There was nobody doing anything."

Surveillance video from the Blue Tattoo Cafe shows the moment the tree fell down. Watch the clip below:

The downed tree blocked two lanes of the roadway for a couple of hours. Crews with the city's Public Works Department were able to remove the tree and open all lanes as of about 7 p.m.

10News showed the surveillance video to master arborist Brad Brown.

"Whoa … and it wasn't even windy out, was it?" he asked.

Brown says it is rare to see a melaleuca tree, which is part of the eucalyptus family, fall like this one did.

"Based on the shadow and the tree, it didn't seem like it had an unusual form or any structural defect," he added. "It's very rare for a tree to fall and it's unusual. It's a surprising video."

It was a surprise to Andrews as well.

"I am just glad I'm not injured," he added.

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