On Saturday in Southern California, tragedy struck as the mother of a bride was killed when a 100-foot tree came crashing down on top of the wedding party.
Five people were injured as guests were trapped under the fallen eucalyptus tree. Among the people who were hurt was a four-year-old girl who sustained severe head trauma and is still in critical condition.
The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. in Whittier's Penn Park. The bridal party had gathered in order to take photos for the ceremony, according to Daily Mail.
Multiple guests in attendance caught the terrifying incident on camera. The bride's mother, whose name has not been released by the authorities, is seen receiving CPR from members of the rescue team.
Three men attempt to revive her as she lies down on the ground in her dress. She was eventually taken away on a stretcher.
As the rescuers tended to those who were injured, guests can be seen sitting in the park still wearing their wedding attire.
The rescue team worked throughout the evening with chainsaws to remove huge portions of the tree in order to free the guests that were trapped. While several people were able to break free from the tree's branches on their own, six guests had to be rescued by the firefighters.
There has been no information released yet as to what caused the tree to fall. A witness at the scene explained that the tree split in two in the moments before collapsing, and landing on top of the wedding party.
Gilbert Duran, a witness in the park, posted a video on Facebook after the tree fell. He was attending a birthday party nearby and said: "We walk away and five minutes later this thing collapses on a whole wedding party. I just seen a bunch of kids, little kids ... they were running for their life and this thing just fell on top of them. I watched them go flat."
On Sunday, Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri talked about this horrific tragedy to the Los Angeles Times.
"The mother lost her life," Vinatieri said. "A 4-year-old is injured. How do you explain it? You can't. The tragedy of the situation is on the hearts and minds of many people. We need to pray for the family because of the injuries and losing someone on a day that's supposed to be a great celebration."
Deputy Chief John Tripp of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said, "We've seen this happen throughout Southern California with both the drought conditions – trees are stressed – and we did have a large amount of rain."0comments
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the bride at this difficult time.