Woman suffers concussion after tree falls on her at UH campus - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Woman suffers concussion after tree falls on her at UH campus

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

One minute, Bree Pettway-Dela Cruz was reading a book in a shady spot near the UH-Manoa's Sinclair Library.

The next, she was hit in the head with what she first thought with a baseball bat.

It was actually a tree, an Ombu tree, which had snapped in two in an instant on Tuesday as she sat on a bench on campus.

"It went black for a few seconds and I just kind of like shook my head and kind of tried to shake myself out of a daze," she said. "When I realized what happened I kind of just sat there in shock and that's when people tried to approach me and see if I was OK."

On Wednesday, she went to Straub Medical Clinic after her headache still hadn't let up. She said doctors diagnosed her with a concussion.

"You could feel along my head here and there's a big knot. I've just been nauseous. I was throwing up for a few days," said Pettway-Dela Cruz.

When Hawaii News Now asked the university about the incident, a spokesman immediately offered an apology to the young woman.

"We're mortified that this happened and we're very sorry. We're definitely looking into it to make sure something like this doesn't happen again," said spokesman Dan Meisenzahl.

The Manoa campus is one of two accredited arboretums in the state. It's also recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a "Tree Campus USA."

Meisenzahl says that requires the university to have a stringent tree care plan.

"We’re constantly monitoring our trees. Trimming our trees. Identifying trees that should be removed. We have two arborists. Every tree on campus is inspected at least once every two years and there are other trees that are inspected on a much more regular basis," said Meisenzahl.

The school wasn't able to confirm the last time the tree involved in the incident was inspected.

Meantime, Pettway-Dela Cruz considers herself lucky, realizing her injuries could have been much more serious.

"It could have been a lot worse. I could've been pinned under the tree. I could have been knocked unconscious," she said.

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