Pleasanton Weekly

News - March 25, 2011

Crash! Tree takes out Jeep Cherokee

Eucalyptus tree splits in half during storm

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Phyllis Keck was at home on Fargo Court having breakfast during the storm last Friday morning when she heard a loud noise. She knew it was windy in Pleasanton but was thinking about the tornado warnings in Santa Rosa.

"I heard a thump," she recalled, and turned around to glance out the window.

Not only had the big eucalyptus tree in front of the house split in half -- it had fallen right on top of her 2001 Jeep Cherokee, smashing the front with branches enveloping the entire body.

"It broke off on the street side – it covered the whole court when it fell," Keck said. "We have great neighbors, they all came over, and the police came out. One neighbor was pulling out of the driveway."

The city removed the part of the tree that fell on public property, and the Kecks called a tree service to remove the tree from the top of the car as well as the tree half that was still standing.

"We wanted to get the tree down," Phyllis Keck said. "We didn't want to worry about it falling onto the house. They took it down right on the spot."

She said her family previously had discussed removing the tree, a dollar eucalyptus, fearing it might fall onto the house, but she'd wanted to keep the tree because she liked the way it looked.

"It was a little baby thing when we moved here," she said, remembering back to 1975.

Her next step was to have the Jeep, which has about 85,000 miles on it, hauled to the shop to see just how bad the damage is.

"I wanted to get a new car but not quite that way," she said.

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