Jessica and Jake Woodruff sadly died when a huge tree fell on their car (Picture: GoFundMe/Facebook)
A mother and father of five children have tragically died after a huge redwood tree fell on top of their car while they were enjoying a weekend getaway. Jessica, 45, and and Jake Woodruff, 36, were killed during the freak accident on Thursday in Northern California.
Their car was crushed by a 175-foot-tall tree as the couple drove from their home in Yreka, California, and were heading for the coast to celebrate Jessica’s birthday. There was no wind on the day of the tragedy, according to authorities, who have described the shock deaths as an ‘astronomical’ event.
Jake and Jessica leave behind five children, Megan, Evan, Casey, Allie, and Chelsea, following their untimely death.
A family friend, Amanda Maffei, has set up a GoFundMe page for the couple’s orphaned kids and so far the page has raised more than $168,000.
Jessica and Jake leave behind five children (Picture: GoFundMe)
Their car was crushed by a tree in northern California (Picture: Facebook/Deanna Dornaus)
‘This was a shocking and unexpected event, and the tragedy of this accident makes it difficult to accept as real’, Amanda wrote on the support page for the couple’s five children.
She added: ‘We are asking that anyone who can support them, please do so, as these children are facing the devastating reality of what was just ripped from their lives in a split second.
‘Those of you who know this family, know how tight-knit they are, and their lives will forever be changed.’
Officials say it was a pleasant day with no wind when the tree came crashing down, calling the odds of a tree falling directly on a car astronomically low.
Jessica and Jake were driving south on Highway 199 in Del Norte County, near Crescent City – an area well known for its massive redwood trees – when the accident happened.
Speaking to SFGate, California Highway Patrol Officer, Brandy Gonzalez, said: ‘We have trees everywhere. It’s in the middle of the redwoods.
The couple were traveling to the coast for a weekend away when they sadly lost their lives (Picture: GoFundMe)
‘It’s just old growth and we have no idea why the tree fell. It was Mother Nature.
‘The timing of everything was very, very unusual.
‘I’ve been on the department for 19 years and I’ve been in this area 12 to 13 years and it’s very unusual. We’ve had trees fall down and cars make contact, but this kind of incident is very unusual.’
On the fundraising page, Amanda added: ‘There is no getting around the devastation and trauma the loss of Jessica and Jake has brought, and as we can all imagine, there is a long road ahead, especially for the children who have been left behind.’
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