COSTA MESA, Calif. - At least four seniors suffered minor injuries after part of a large tree fell on them while they were playing croquet at a Costa Mesa park on Monday.
Firefighters were called to Shiffer Park in the 3000 block of Bear Street at about 9:40 a.m., where a tall ficus tree, which was splitting, shed a 50-foot long branch that fell on the four victims.
Those injured ranged in age from 75 to 99 years, according to Costa Mesa Fire Department Capt. Chris Coates.
Two women and one man were taken to an area hospital to be evaluated for non-life threatening injuries, officials said. The fourth victim was treated at the scene.
The seniors said they were near the shade of the tree playing croquet when they heard the tree starting to crack. All four victims began to move away as the massive tree branch fell over, fire officials said.
Some of the smaller branches landed on top of the victims, leaving them with scrapes and cuts.
A witness at the park, Alex Dinh, said he ran to one of the victims stuck underneath a branch.
"I looked at everything first to make sure everyone's OK, and I came to her attention right away because she was the one that was, like, in the middle of it all. She was shouting for her friend's name in Japanese, making sure they were all OK. As soon as I saw there were branches on top of her, underneath her neck area, I had to get on the ground and put my hand under neck," said Dinh.
City crew members were investigating what prompted the fall.
City News Service contributed to this report.