MARIN COUNTY (KPIX 5) – A hiker who was struck and killed by a fallen tree during a Christmas Eve visit to Muir Woods National Monument has been identified by authorities as a Minnesota man.
According to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, the victim is Subhradeep Dutta, a 28-year-old from Edina, near Minneapolis. Authorities said Dutta was on a trail around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when the tree fell and struck him. When emergency responders arrived, Dutta was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials said the man was among three people hiking in the area when at least five trees toppled onto the trail. The second person was struck by a fallen tree and was sent to the hospital for treatment, while a third person escaped unharmed.
“These were visitors exactly where they are allowed to be,” National Park Service spokesperson Charles Strickfaden told KPIX 5 on Wednesday. “It just seems to be an unfortunate, tragic event.”
Strickfaden said the trees may have been weakened by recent rains.
The Park Service said such an incident is rare at Muir Woods, where nearly one million people per year visit to view the trees, which are nearly a thousand years old.
No further details about the investigation were immediately available. An autopsy will be performed later this week, the sheriff’s office said.