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Tree incident a freak accident

An incident at Kinsman Park Thursday afternoon where limbs from a tree fell on a woman was an accident that was impossible to predict.

That from Blair Stewart, Kelowna's Urban Forestry Supervisor.

The incident occurred Thursday afternoon while members of Pathways Abilities Society were enjoying an afternoon in the park.

According to an official with Pathways, a large branch fell onto Peggy who was sitting on a blanket under the tree.

She was taken to Kelowna General Hospital for treatment.

"We feel sorry for the lady that was injured obviously. We wish her a speedy recovery," says Stewart.

"It's a terrible incident that happened and it's just one of those things that we just can't predict. We do our best to inspect all of the trees we have with the staff we have."

Stewart says the limb fell from a poplar tree which, he says, can shed limbs from time to time.

"Sometimes poplars can have a summer limb drop when it just randomly happens. There's nothing that can predict it," says Stewart.

"Sometimes they will soak up a lot of water in the spring and the branches just get heavy and they end up breaking off."

The parks department does inspect trees in beach parks on a yearly basis looking for signs of failure.

"We always try to go through the parks once a year visually to see if we can find anything that looks peculiar or whether there is die-back or disease."

Stewart says problem trees or limbs identified last year have been dealt with.

As for Thursday's incident, Stewart says after inspecting the stem there is no evidence to make him believe it was anything more than an unfortunate accident.

"It seems like wrong place, wrong time."


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