MILL VALLEY (CBS SF) — A Mill Valley man who went to investigate a downed power line in his neighborhood Wednesday night was struck and killed after he heard a tree crack and ran into the path of a neighbor’s van, authorities said.

The tragedy unfolded just before 8:30 p.m. near the intersection of Laverne Avenue and North Ferndale Avenue in unincorporated Mill Valley.

Gusty winds had toppled a power line. A group of neighbors including 52-year-old Darren Malvin gathered in the street to take a look. Malvin then called 911 to report the downed wire.

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“As they were waiting for emergency crews to arrive, two more neighbors arrived, one on foot and one driving a van,” CHP officer Andrew Barclay said in an email. “As the group was conversing, a strong gust of wind caused the tree above them to crack.”

Fearing for their safety, the group attempted to flee. Unfortunately, Malvin bolted in front of a van and was struck and killed by a neighbor.

“There were arcing wires,” said Mill Valley Battalion Fire Chief Scott Barnes. “It was extremely windy — 20 to 40 mph winds. A lot of rain coming down…They heard some cracking noises and thought the tree was coming down.”

Paramedics provided first aid and took Malvin to Marin General Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Malvin was the CEO of American Solar Corp., a Sausalito-based company.

Malvin was renting a place next to the downed tree as he was in the process of building a dream home down the street, which would have been completed in the next few months.