Oakland removes tree after teen’s death

Oakland city officials Monday said they have removed the acacia tree near Fairyland that broke Friday while a teen was climbing in it, knocking him to the ground in a fatal fall.

The boy, 16-year-old Jack Lewis, was climbing in the tree near Grand Avenue and Harrison Street with several other minors around 6 p.m.

Friday when a limb broke, according to police. Lewis fell to the ground, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is being investigated as an accident, police said.

City officials today said that work crews generally respond to reports of trees that are imminent hazards within 24 hours. The city has a tree staff including arboricultural inspectors and certified arborists.

“Yesterday’s tragic accident was a heartbreaking loss for our city, but most especially for the family and friends of the young man who was fatally injured in an accident involving a tree at Lake Merritt,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement Saturday:

“I join with Oaklanders across our city in expressing my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of this young man who was taken too soon.”