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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Tree Outside Kidspace Falls; Injures 8 Children, 2 Critical

Tree Outside Kidspace Falls; Injures 8 Children, 2 Critical

by Pasadena Independent
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- Photo courtesy Pasadena Fire Dept.

– Photo by Jamie Nicholson, Pasadena Fire

Update from 8/3:

LAC+USC Medical Center and Pasadena Fire:  The two children hospitalized as the result of the tree incident (7-28) have both been discharged and will be recuperating at home.

City Begins Investigation Into Tree Collapse

By Terry Miller

 A 75-foot pine tree fell on a group of children, injuring eight, two of them critically, outside Kidspace Children’s Museum in Brookside Park just south of the Rose Bowl at approximately 4:50 p.m. on Tuesday.

The two children in critical condition were transported to USC Medical Center. One of those two children is Joy Thomas from Hamilton School. Joy is in critical but stable condition and the school sent out a message to parents and friends to “… keep Joy and her family in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.”

The 33 kids, ages five to nine from all over Los Angeles, were leaving a day camp put on by Kidspace and about to be picked up by their parents.

Police officers were on scene almost immediately followed quickly by the fire department.

“We commend the Kidspace staff for their quick thinking in evacuating the kids to safety and sheltering them while the scene was secured,” said Lisa Derderian, Public Information Officer for the Pasadena Fire Department.

With kids screaming and running in every direction, moms crying, witnesses described the scene as sheer pandemonium. Many of the bystanders jumped in immediately to help free the children stuck under the tree.

“Our hearts go out to the families of those injured as well as all those who witnessed this frightening incident. We wish everyone a speedy and complete recovery,” said Michael Shanklin, Kidspace CEO. “I am extremely proud of our Kidspace staff, members of the community, and the first responders from the City of Pasadena for their quick thinking and help getting everyone to safety and ensuring everyone was accounted for,” said Shanklin. “We are constantly reviewing our safety protocols and procedures and I am confident that diligence helped minimize injuries and save lives.”

Kidspace would like to thank the City of Pasadena first responders for their quick action and support, along with the Kidspace community and parents who helped immediately following the incident.

The City is retaining a private, independent arborist to inspect a large pine tree that collapsed Tuesday, July 28, 2015 in Brookside Park near the Kidspace Museum, injuring eight children, two critically. The City is hiring the arborist to help determine why the tree fell.

“On behalf of the City, I want to extend our thoughts and prayers to the injured children, especially those still hospitalized, and their families. We are praying for their full recovery,” Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said.
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“Our public spaces, especially the Arroyo, are unique and draw thousands of visitors each day, so it is a priority for the City to maintain both the beauty and safety of our parks and open spaces for all to enjoy,” Mayor Tornek added.

The City’s certified arborist with the Department of Public Works conducted a preliminary assessment of the downed tree yesterday and could find no conclusive reasons for its fall.

City Manager Michael J. Beck praised the personnel from the police and fire departments for their swift, joint rescue operation. “I’m proud of the Pasadena Police and Fire Department personnel and Kidspace staff for their quick response to the incident,” he said.

The tree fell at about 4:45 p.m., Tuesday, July 28, striking a group of elementary school-aged children who were outside the museum. Six children were treated at the scene and released to their parents, while two others were transported to LA County-USC Medical Center. A third child was reportedly taken to the same hospital by relatives and was later released.

The area around the accident site has been secured and will remain closed to the public until further notice. Pasadena has an “urban forest” of about 60,000 City-owned trees in parks, open spaces, along city streets and at public buildings.

The City conducts regular maintenance and care for all of the City trees. The City has continued to maintain the grass, trees and vegetation in all City parks during the drought.


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