Fallen 80-foot-tree traps 12-year-old

A 12-year-old student was hospitalized but not seriously hurt Thursday after an 80-foot tree fell and trapped him for about 15 minutes at a school in Santa Cruz, city and school officials said.

The boy was walking at Gateway School at 126 Eucalyptus Ave. between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. when a strong gust of wind from today’s storm pushed the tree down on him, city of Santa Cruz spokesman Keith Sterling said.

A Gateway school employee said the child was on the school’s playground when the tree fell. The tall tree pinned his left shoulder and arm on the ground, Sterling said. Santa Cruz firefighters arrived and used chain saws and other equipment to cut through the fallen tree and free him within about 15 minutes, according to Sterling.

The boy was transported to a hospital for treatment, including for at least one fracture, Sterling said:

“He’s at the hospital now, but very lucky.”