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[whitespace] Falling tree injures two men at local park

Cupertino--Two Sunnyvale men attending a family reunion picnic in Stevens Creek County Park were hospitalized on May 21, after they were hit by a large branch from a falling tree. It wasn't immediately known what caused the incident.

Cousins Elio Salguero, 26, and Dennis Salguero, 23, both suffered serious head trauma in the freak accident. Elio Salguero, knocked unconscious by the blow, was taken by Lifeflight air ambulance to Stanford Medical Center for treatment.

Dennis was rushed to Valley Medical Center by ambulance. He did not lose consciousness, and was admitted in stable condition for monitoring. He sustained an 8- to 10-inch laceration to his skull, according to a spokesperson for the ambulance company. Both were discharged within 24 hours.

Santa Clara County Fire Department spokesman Dennis Johnsen said the Sunday afternoon accident occurred at about 1:15 p.m. in the Chestnut picnic grounds at the park, just below the reservoir dam.

"They were having a family reunion and there were about 40 people there," Johnsen said. "All of a sudden, a baywood tree started falling over, and it hit another tree as it fell. The two victims were hit by a branch from that second tree."

Johnsen said that the second tree was about 40 to 50 feet tall and had a trunk about three feet in diameter. If the trunk had hit the two men, Johnsen said, they probably wouldn't have survived.

Johnsen said fire officials weren't sure what caused the accident.

A spokesperson for the county parks department said that parks officials haven't yet determined what caused the trees to fall, and that the matter is still under investigation.

No one else at the picnic was injured in the incident.
Jeff Kearns

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