You've heard about the Bay Area's problem with big eucalyptus trees that smell nice but are nearing the end of their lives and have a habit of falling over? Well, one did just that on Crossover Drive in Golden Gate Park, causing a major traffic backup on 19th Avenue.
Crossover Drive is the busy, six-lane road that traverses Golden Gate Park, connecting 19th Avenue/Highway 1 on the south end of the park to Park Presidio Boulevard on the north end. Around 4:15 p.m. Monday, a large eucalyptus tree fell onto the roadway, and onto four passing vehicles, and minorly injuring a couple of drivers and/or passengers.
The tree fell in the area of Crossover Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, not far from where 19th Avenue abuts the south side of the park.
SF fire crews and emergency responders were on the scene, and an update after 5 p.m. from the SFFD indicated that 11 people were extricated from the cars, two of whom had non-life-threatening injuries. No one required transport to a hospital.
The downed tree also closed all lanes of 19th Avenue, making for a very painful detour at rush hour for many motorists trying to get from 19th Avenue to the Golden Gate Bridge.
TREE FELL ON VEHICLES— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) January 16, 2024
LARGE TREE FELL ON CROSSOVER DR/MLK, 4 VEHICLES UNDER TREE
SFFD EVALUATING 7 VICTIMS
ALL LANES OF 19TH AVE IN THIS AREA CLOSED -MAJOR TRAFFIC DELAYS- AVOID AREA CONSIDER RE-ROUTE pic.twitter.com/SG5BZKxXx6
UPDATE— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) January 16, 2024
11 OCCUPANTS ARE SAFE
2 OF WHICH HAVE NON-LIFE THREATENING INJURIES #SFFD CLEARING TREE FROM CARS
UNKNOWN WHEN ROAD WILL REOPEN
LARGE TREE ON 4 CARS SB 19TH AVE CLOSED
NB 19TH AVE ONE LANE OPEN AVOID AREA https://t.co/mMYE4Aywdy pic.twitter.com/hM7dQhxjgr
Everyone is being advised to avoid the area if at all possible. It's not yet clear when Crossover Drive might reopen.
It seems like the rain has only barely begun this January, compared to last year, but you may recall that wet ground from last January's storms led to lots of downed trees around the city.
We'll update you if we learn more.
This post has been updated to include information about injuries.