The parents of a woman that was crushed by a tree while driving her car last year have filed wrongful death claims against the city of Newport Beach.
Two separate claims were filed in the last two weeks by Haeyoon Miller’s mother and father.
Her mother, Hyun Myung Suk, seeks damages for the minimum amount stated by law, or damages “well in excess of $10,000.”
The accident occurred when a 60-foot tree fell on Miller’s car at the intersection of Irvine Avenue and 17th Street and smashed her Hyundai while she was stopped at a red light.
The driver suffered severe injuries and later died in the hospital.
According to the lawsuits, the city was negligent in its care of the 10-ton, 70-foot-tall tree. The tree fell from Irvine Avenue’s median in September and crushed Miller’s sedan.
Eucalyptus trees had fallen in the area before and Suk claims that because of this, the city was aware of the dangers.
She also alleges that the city attempted to destroy the evidence by removing and destroying close to 100 eucalyptus trees throughout the area, just after the accident.
An investigation is now underway, although city officials refuse to release its contents.
Her parents also claim that emergency responders did not stabilize the tree after it fell which may have contributed to Miller’s death.
Witnesses said that at the scene of the accident, firefighters attempted to remove the tree, but they dropped it back on the car.
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