Stephen Ellison

Massive Tree Falls, Crushes Unoccupied Cars in Lafayette

A massive tree came down in Lafayette on Sunday afternoon, crushing several unoccupied cars in a parking lot, according to police.

Lafayette officers responded about 4:30 p.m. to reports that a tree had come down at 101 Lafayette Circle, which houses a number of businesses, including an Italian restaurant. A number of people inside the restaurant were celebrating a woman's 70th birthday just feet from where the tree toppled.

Some said it sounded like thunder.

"We heard it, and we thought it was thunder and lightning," Pleasanton resident Janice Devine said. "Boom, it just went over, and fortunately it went into the parking lot and not into the restaurant."

No injuries were reported, but as many as eight cars were damaged, up to three of them totalled, police said. No buildings were damaged either.

One woman's Jeep Wrangler was a mangled heap of metal. She was just glad to know nobody was inside any of the crushed vehicles.

"There’s a ton of cars in this parking lot, and no one was in their car," Walnut Creek resident Jill Jones said. "Everyone was super fortunate for being inside, and yeah, we made it out all right."

Jones said she heard it was going to take at least 48 hours to remove the tree. Officials did not provide a timeline.

Deborah Roessler, of Martinez, was inside the restaurant celebrating her birthday.

"It sounded actually like thunder," she said. "But thank god nobody got hurt."

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