Tree limb falls, critically injures woman in SF North Beach playground

Image 1 of 4

San Francisco Fire Department confirms a 36-year-old woman has been critically injured after a tree limb fell onto her in the city's North Beach neighborhood in Washington Square Park. 

The estimated 100 pound limb fell from above on the mother who was watching her children Friday at around 3:10 p.m., at Columbus and Filbert. 

The accident happened in the playground area of the park as the victim was sitting on a park bench. She was watching her two kids when the branch fell, striking her in the head. 

The woman, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and according to police is in critical condition. 

"She sustained a head injury. She was in and out of consciousness upon our arrival," said SFPD Capt. David Lazar. He said medics, police and the fire department responded quickly to the accident. 

Mayor Edwin M. Lee issued the following statement today:

       "Today my thoughts are with the family of the young mother who was injured yesterday in Washington Square Park. The Recreation and Park Department, along with other City agencies, are continuing to investigate the incident. Tree work is conducted regularly at Washington Square Park, and City tree crews will go to the park this week to review all trees. We thank those who quickly responded and assisted the woman and her children during the accident. We are praying for the recovery of this young woman."

San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department was called to the scene to investigate and said the tree, a Canary Island pine appears to be healthy, but wind may have been a factor.

The department said the last time the trees in the area have been fully assessed was in 2010. Dennis Kern with the department said the tree had good moisture content and that the wood is healthy. He added that drought does not appear to be a factor.  Records show the trees lower limbs were trimmed and pruned four years ago. Kern said it's best practice for cities to get an assessment scheduled every 15 years or so.

The park was reopened about three hours after the accident.  

The woman's two children, ages 5 and 9, have been reunited with their father.