DANVILLE, Calif. (BCN) - A woman died after a large pine tree fell onto northbound Interstate Highway 680 in Danville this morning, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.
The Contra Costa County coroner has identified her as 58-year old Lydumila Beyzer, a doctor from Danville, as the victim.
The crash was reported at 8:55 a.m. north of the El Cerro Boulevard off-ramp.
The woman was driving a silver Mercedes-Benz sedan north on the highway when a 50- to 60-foot fell onto the roadway either on top of or directly in front of the vehicle, CHP spokesman Officer Brandon Correia said.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
The tree is blocking all but the far left lane on the highway and investigators do not yet know why it fell, Correia said.
Sgt. Eric Butawan with CHP said, "It's definitely not your everyday deal. I don't know how something like that would happen."
Traffic backed up for miles on 680 between El Pintado and Stone Valley Rd. Meanwhile, CHP investigators tried to understand how this could have happened.
Sgt. Butawan says, "It's unknown at this time if the vehicle collided with the tree or if the tree landed on top of the vehicle. That part's still under investigation."
They said the tree, which appeared to be dead, was on Caltrans property. Caltrans crews came to remove it, but no word on whether they'll also be taking down other dead trees nearby.
Beyzer worked as an internist in Walnut Creek and was affiliated with John Muir Hospital. Her office was closed, allowing co-workers to grieve.
John Muir Health released a statement saying "We are deeply saddened to hear about the sudden and tragic passing of Dr. Lyudmila Beyzer. She was a member of the John Muir Health Physician Network for 15 years and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with her family, friends, patients, colleagues and staff at this very difficult time."
Sgt. Butawan says, "Thankfully there was only one vehicle involved. From the CHP we offer our condolences for the family, because this is a terrible time. Hopefully we can figure out what happened as a service to them."
Caltrans released a statement saying "Caltrans expresses its expresses its deepest condolences to the family of the victim of this incident. The safety of the traveling public is our highest priority. We are currently examining the causes of this unfortunate incident."