EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - The preliminary investigation surrounding the death of a woman killed when a tree fell on her on an Eden Prairie walking trail shows the tree suffered from decay.
The victim, Nina Mackay, 56, was killed on Friday night. A 911 caller reportedly heard the sound of a falling tree and someone screaming.
Emergency crews responded to the corner of George Moran Drive and Belfast Cove where they found Mackay pinned under a large basswood tree. She died at the scene.
"Mackay will be deeply missed and the city sends its deepest condolences to the Mackay family and friends," the city said in a news release.
The Eden Prairie Parks and Recreation Department, working with the Eden Prairie Police Department and the League of Minnesota Cities investigated the incident. Their findings show that the 90-year-old tree, which was about 30 inches in diameter, showed no signs of disease from the outside.
But further investigation showed significant decay on the inside of the tree at its base.
At the time, there were wind gusts up to 23 miles per hour, but officials did not indicate how much or if the wind was a factor.
The city of Eden Prairie said it employs one full-time Forestry Technician and two seasonal Tree Inspectors (May-Oct.) to actively seek out diseased and hazardous trees for removal.
In addition, the city said it employs one full-time Park Maintenance staff member assigned as a Trail Crew Lead, who is actively on the trails throughout the summer, to oversee trail maintenance and identify hazardous trees for removal.
In 2012, more than 1,000 diseased and hazardous trees were removed from city property in Eden Prairie.
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