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Large tree branch falls onto parked car, killing one, injuring another next to Powell Park

The car was parked along Southeast 22nd Avenue next to Powell Park.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Firefighters called to the report of a tree falling on a parked van in Southeast Portland Thursday morning found one person injured and another dead.

According to witnesses in the area, the van had been parked next to Powell Park for quite some time, and the pair may have been living in the vehicle. 

"The tragedy is that people don't have sufficient housing and that they were having to live out of their van," said Portland Fire & Rescue spokesperson Lt. Rich Chatman.

He didn't give much detail on the pair, except to say that they are in their mid-40's. 

Responding crews closed 22nd Avenue from Southeast Powell Boulevard and Gladstone Street.

A rescue crane and response team came to the scene and extricated the passengers. The survivor was taken to a nearby hospital, Chatman said

According to Chatman, the branch of an old growth oak tree broke off due to Sudden Branch Drop Disorder, which happens when part of the tree weakens over the winter and then breaks off during warmer months.

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