SAN BRUNO, Calif. (KTVU) - A San Bruno family is demanding answers, after a two-year-old was badly injured when a massive tree branch snapped at Menlo College over the weekend. The girl is back home recovering from a fractured skull.
Doctors said it should heal on its own. It could take weeks. The campus is surrounded by oak trees and they had no idea a branch was going to come crashing down.
Two-year-old Zealyn is resting in her father's arms on pain killers and antibiotics after part of a large tree branch collapsed on her and her mother, Jasmine Garcia.
“I could see it on top of me,” said Jasmine Garcia. “The limbs and everything were crashing on top of me. I was shocked. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know the tree was going to fall. It just happened so fast.”
It happened Saturday afternoon. The family was at Jasmine's company picnic at Menlo College. The two went to throw away trash when out of nowhere Jasmine heard an unusual sound.
“It almost sounded like a house was collapsing,” said Garcia. “I never heard a sound like that before. I wasn't sure what was going on.”
It turns out a branch from this Heritage Oak Tree snapped. The branch is estimated to be 50 feet long and three feet wide. Zealyn was discovered, covered in blood, gashes and lacerations on her eyelids.
“I was hysterical,” said Christopher Garcia. “I wasn't sure if she was alive.”
Jasmine suffered a broken toe. The two were rushed to Stanford Hospital. Zealyn underwent surgery. She has a fracture from the top of her forehead that runs down to her left eye. It caused bruising around her eye.
Zealyn's father Chris was 50 feet away. He witnessed both of them getting hit and falling. He said the branches came down like a huge blanket.
“I thought she was going to be blind. It was pretty scary,” said Christopher Garcia. “I was terrified. I didn't know what to expect.”
The family is calling for an investigation wanting answers about the tree's maintenance, its age, when it was last inspected and if the tree was diseased.
Attempts to contact Menlo College were not returned. Caution tape now surrounds the tree. The fallen branch has since been cut up.
Meantime, the family's focus is on Zealyn and Jasmine's recovery aware the outcome could have been different.
“You never know. It could have ended up worse,” said Christopher Garcia. “I could have been sitting here by myself.”
The family said a lot more people were sitting underneath that large tree an hour prior. According to Jasmine, two other people were injured. One with minor scrapes and another person had to get stiches.