A 58-year-old woman was rescued after being pinned beneath a tree that was knocked down by powerful wind gusts in Burbank on Monday morning, fire officials said.
The woman was walking in the 4000 block of Clybourn Avenue on the way to the store when a pine tree estimated to be about five stories tall crashed down and trapped her underneath branches, according to the Burbank Fire Department.
"I just hear that loud, loud crack noise so I got scared and I said, 'Man, what happened?'" said Angel Perez, who was servicing a pool nearby.
The woman was freed about a half hour later and taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with minor to moderate injuries.
"They cribbed the tree and put airbags under to prevent anymore movement of the tree while they were able to extricate her," said Capt. Peter Hendrickson of the BFD.
The uprooted tree narrowly missed a driver, who drove away with a cracked windshield.
"With the recent wind and rain that we've had a lot of the ground is soft a lot of the trees are falling over," Hendrickson said. "It's unpredictable. If you hear a crunch and a crack or a loud boom, look up and see what's coming at you possibly."
The wind crushed cars elsewhere.
Chris McKinney had just left McDonalds in his white Dodge van and then he realized a tree might fall right on top of him.
He had to make a split second decision. So he accelerated.
"It felt like I was going to get crushed in a tin can," McKinney said. "I actually was trying to hold the roof like I was going to stop it or something."
McKinney said the door was stuck so he got out through a window. He said he never got out of a car so fast in his life.
He just bought the car four months ago.
At the same time, John Maloney's new Honda HRV was parked across the street from his apartment. He had just gotten out of the shower and was talking to his wife when they heard a crash.
"Next thing we know we just heard some loud bang," Maloney said. "We didn't think much of it just because of how windy it was."
But then they came out and saw what happened. The big sycamore had fallen and crushed their car as well.
"We loved the car," he said. "We thought it was the greatest car we'd ever had. We talked about how wonderful it was every day we drove it."
This afternoon work crews began cutting the trees into in pieces. Mckinney, a musician, was waiting to see if his keyboard in the back of the van was damaged. Both he and Maloney said they're thankful no one was hurt.
"Can't believe it's my van, unbelievable," he said.