Family of musician killed when giant tree fell in PB gets $700K settlement

Nicki Carano

SAN DIEGO – Attorneys for the city of San Diego have reportedly reached a $700,000 settlement deal with the parents of a local musician and dance instructor who was crushed to death when a giant tree fell on her car during a storm in Pacific Beach two years ago.

Nicki Lyn Carano, 48, was killed when an uprooted 8-foot diameter tree fell across Ingraham Street near Fortuna Avenue in blustery conditions on Jan. 31, 2016, according to city fire officials and the county Medical Examiner’s Office. The roughly 100-foot tall, 50-year-old tree crushed three parked, unoccupied vehicles and Carano’s small Honda sedan as she drove by.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Carano’s parents, Anthony and Carole Ann Carano, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2016 alleging city officials had “actual and/or constructive knowledge” that there was a defect in the tree. They also claimed in the suit that the city had a duty to inspect trees near the roadway for flaws, and contended the city failed in its duties to keep the area safe and warn people of any hidden danger, the newspaper reported.

The San Diego City Council will be asked to approve the $700,000 settlement at its meeting next Tuesday, according to the Union-Tribune. The county and state were also named in the lawsuit.

Carano died while on her way to Ocean Beach to perform with her band Spider Tree, the Union-Tribune reported. She also reportedly played in the all- women band Nectarine.

Hundreds of mourners attended a memorial service for Carano at Kate Sessions Park in Pacific Beach a week after her death. According to her Facebook page, Carano was from Tucson, Arizona, and attended Clairemont High School in San Diego.

She taught dance, drumming and musical theater for more than 15 years in addition to performing, according to an online profile. She had taught at numerous local campuses including the Academy Of Performing Arts San Diego, Mesa College, UC San Diego and the Coronado School of the Arts, according to the Academy Of Performing Arts.

A dance scholarship was established in her name at Mesa Community College, where she attended and taught.