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Toddler, 2 others injured as tree falls on popular Twin Falls Trail

Photo from the scene of the tree collapse provided by KOMO viewer.

NORTH BEND, Wash. - Three people were injured, including a 16-month-old toddler, when a large tree came crashing down across a popular trail Sunday near North Bend, officials said.

Rescuers and witnesses say the victims were struck by an old growth tree that fell across the popular Twin Falls Trail and took out a section of the trail.

A father and his 16-month-old son were walking past the tree on their way back to the trail head when it came down. The tree struck the father, the child and a woman who was walking nearby.

"It sounded like, very thunderous," said Michelle Nikfarjam, who was nearby when the tree toppled over. "It didn't look like a really old, old tree but it was big enough to make like a loud cracking noise."

"I think somebody was pinned under it. It looked like somebody was stuck and I saw kind of a red clothes arm moving around underneath," said witness Heather Baldwin.

Witnesses said the toddler appeared to have a large gash on his forehead. One witness grabbed the child and ran with him down to the trail head so that he could be rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The little boy's father suffered a severe head injury. He was airlifted to Harborview in critical condition. His condition was upgraded to serious on Monday.

The woman sustained less serious injuries and was rescued last.

"We had no idea. We didn’t hear any screams or fire department come in. So, we were exiting the trail as normal and we crossed paths with emergency responders," said witness Jake Brown. "Pretty scary stuff. Definitely blessed to be here and be safe. And my prayers go out to the patients that were here today."

A paramedic happened to be in the area when the tree fell and was able to provide first aid.

Multiple search-and-rescue teams responded to the scene, said Capt. Steve Westlake of Eastside Fire and Rescue.

Investigators are still trying to determine why the tree fell.

The trail was closed for the day after the accident, but has since reopened.

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