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Witness reacts after tree falls, kills man in NW Austin

A man was killed Sunday night after a tree branch fell on him at a homeless camp in North Austin. (PHOTO: CBS Austin)

Police in Austin are investigating after a tree fell on a homeless man as he was sleeping Sunday night.

A woman who asked us to keep her anonymous is still trying to process the shock after witnessing the tragedy.

"I heard a cracking, a loud cracking, I come around, and the tree branch is falling," the woman told CBS Austin.

It happened behind a Jack in the Box on McNeil Rd. around 9:30 p.m.

The witness, who is also homeless, was sitting about 100 feet away when a 30-foot branch came crashing down onto the man believed to be in his 50s. She ran over to check on him as he was lying in a sleeping bag -- but it was already too late.

She called 911. When first responders arrived, he was pronounced dead on scene.

Investigators believe the tree was struck by lightening at some point during the day, causing the branch to fall 25 feet.

Brand Lovier works nearby and says just a handful of homeless people use the area at night.

"They're nice. I talk to them a lot," said Lovier

He takes breaks under that tree and fears the same tragedy could have happened to him.

"It's a shady tree. It's crazy to think that, that could have happened to any of us,"Lovier told CBS Austin.

The man has not yet been identified.


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