Tree trimmer injured when palm falls in hotel lobby

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SAN DIEGO — A tree trimmer was seriously injured when the palm he was in came crashing down in  a hotel lobby in the University City area.

The man was part of a crew with Arbor West Tree Surgeons who were removing palm trees in the lobby area of the Embassy Suites Hotel in the 4500 block of La Jolla Village Drive.

The man was about 30 feet up when the tree uprooted just before 11 a.m., a supervisor with the tree trimming company said.

“He didn’t literally fall out of the tree, he fell with the tree. It was just a total accident,” said Joe Jaha, a supervisor with Arbor West.

The worker was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla , where he was being treated for a fractured arm, a fractured leg and facial injuries. He was expected to survive, coworkers said.

“He had all of his safety equipment on, he was tied in properly — everything was set,” Jaha said.

The trees in the hotel lobby appeared healthy, but they apparently had  shallow root systems because they were growing indoors, the supervisor said.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story, citing police and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, said that the tree was outside the hotel and fell on someone. Authorities have since clarified the details.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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