Over the weekend a tragic story of a Boca Raton woman in her 20’s, out on her morning walk became news for a terribly reason. A live oak tree branch fell on her, resulting in her death. Death by tree branch isn’t the sort of thing we’re used to hearing. Just as many think death by a coconut is a joke. There’s a reason many businesses with coconut palms have warning signs. That’s also a reminder that the craziness of timing can result in the most unlikely of outcomes in an instant. These types of incidents happen more often than you think. It’s only news when it makes the news but that doesn’t make the outcomes any less real. How many people do you think die annually in the US due to falling objects, most commonly from trees?
The answer according to CDC data is an average of 500 and the peak recorded occurred in 2016 when 646 deaths were recorded from falling objects. Surprised? We have 250 billion trees in the US. Think about that number for a minute. That’s a lot of opportunities for craziness to happen, and it does. For all of the attention and fear of sharks, only one death occurred in the US last year via shark bites and only one thus far in 2019. In other words, you’re 500 times more likely to die walking around on land and being hit by a falling tree than a shark bite. Of course, almost all of us spend more time walking around than swimming but you get the idea.
In my case, we had multiple coconut palms but now just one. The one that’s no longer with us was mature and not so ideally placed above our walkway to the back yard. Several years ago, while walking a large coconut fell not more than two feet in front of me with such force that it cracked on the concrete. Earlier this year, Ashley parked a little too close to the one that remains. A coconut fell and broke her headlamp, causing over $3,000 worth of damage to her car. If a coconut can do that to a car, well, you get the idea. Don’t take life or tree debris for granted. You never know.
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