Tree falls, crushes cars in Shaver Lake

Several families who headed up to Shaver Lake for the weekend woke up to the sound of a loud bang Friday morning.
Several families who headed up to Shaver Lake for the weekend woke up to the sound of a loud bang Friday morning.

Shaver Lake has always been a getaway for people looking to beat the heat, soak up nature and cool blue water. Some families who visit go to relax and rest at a tucked-away bed and breakfast, but lately the retreat has been anything but quiet.

"All of a sudden we hear this amazing crash," said Joanne Elliot. "I look out the window, I thought maybe a building collapsed, and I look out and I see this 70-foot tree laying across four cars in our parking lot. They are all demolished, every one of them."

Elliot showed Action News a few photos of the huge tree which belongs to a neighbor and landed on her property. The impact mangled visitors' cars, including one belonging to Mary Ann Whittier.

"Our car was totaled. What was it? It's only a three-year-old Acura, whatever, but it totally smashed it," said Whittier.

"It just laid right across the parking lot onto the cars, causing them to basically taco in half where the front end and back end came up like a taco," said J.R. DeSoto with Eagle Towing.

Crews believe the downed tree was rotting before it caused more than $100,000 in damages.

"It seems to have gotten a bug into it -- a bark beetle -- which will go through the bark of the tree, it burrows into the tree and starts eating," said DeSoto.

Cleanup crews say the tree was so diseased, so brittle and so weak, it could have snapped off years ago. People who live nearby say even though it was a very scary experience, they're thankful no one was hurt.
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