Woman Critically Injured After Palm Tree Crushes Vehicle

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Burbank firefighters received a call last Friday night, October 12 at 9:19 pm of a tree that had struck a vehicle at Lakeside Drive and Olive Ave. in Burbank. At the time, rain was strong in the area.

Police arrived first on scene and they discovered a Mercedes convertible that had been struck by a falling tree. The tree landed directly over a woman passenger and just missed the driver directly.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Warner Bros. firefighters arrived on scene right after police had removed both victims from the vehicle and assisted Burbank firefighters with treating both the man and woman, according to Battalion Chief John Owings of the Burbank Fire Department.

The female passenger, whose name has not been released, was rushed to a local trauma hospital in critical condition where she remains. The driver was also taken to the hospital with serious injuries. A second vehicle struck the fallen tree also.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

According to Sgt. Derek Green of the Burbank Police Department, “The driver, now identified as Jonathan Ortiz, 29, of North Hollywood, was found to be in possession of a handgun and narcotics while on parole. After being treated at the hospital, Ortiz was placed under arrest and transported to the Burbank City Jail, where he was booked for possessing a firearm while in possession of narcotics.  He is currently being held without bail by the California Department of Corrections.”

Green also reported that the occupants of the second vehicle were not seriously injured.

Police say that the cause of the accident is still under investigation with Owings adding “The cause of the tree falling has not yet been determined.”