100 Trees Coming Down in Orange County After Woman's Death

Newport Beach and Costa Mesa city officials have agreed to cut down about 100 eucalyptus trees because of last week's deadly accident involving a falling tree.

That tree, which fell last Thursday, killed Haeyoon Miller, 29, of Tustin. Arborists have now determined that other trees in the same area may pose a threat to citizens.

"It's the roots and the canopies," said Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff. "When they're all together, all in one row, they strengthen each other. But when one comes out, or more than one comes out, that whole fence, that whole linkage is compromised."

Miller was in her vehicle about 2 p.m. stopped at a red light on Irvine Avenue when the tree fell from the center median, crushing her car and killing Miller. She was alone in her vehicle.

A helicopter was called to the scene to help airlift Miller to a hospital but she was pronounced dead before it arrived.

The tree is estimated to have been between 40- and 50-feet tall.

That tree, and the others that will now be cut down, are in a median that's landscaped by the City of Newport Beach. The accident took place in Costa Mesa. 

"They're really beautiful trees," said Kiff. "But when the public safety is compromised, I don't think we can do anything but remove them."

But there are reports that the city of Costa Mesa may be having second thoughts about removing the trees.

A meeting Wednesday morning between top level Costa Mesa officials and Newport Beach's city manager was expected to focus on the issue.

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