Eucalyptus tree uprooted by storm smashes vehicle, kills man on Berkeley campus

A Novato man was killed Sunday afternoon when a tree, uprooted by howling winds from the stormy weather, fell on his car on the UC Berkeley campus, authorities said.

Shortly before 4 p.m., University of California police responded to reports that a eucalyptus tree had toppled over onto a car on Gayley Road on the eastern part of campus, police spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

Berkeley firefighters responded and authorities pronounced 32-year-old Alexander Grant dead at the scene.

Mogulof said the weekend storm caused multiple toppled trees in the area, including ones on Centennial Drive and Fish Ranch Road, though no other injuries were reported.

Berkeley officials said they continuously monitor and maintain trees around campus and mark dangerous trees for removal, but the one that killed Grant had not been identified as a threat.

“We are taking immediate steps to assess whether we can learn anything from the condition of the fallen tree that could improve our evaluation of whether other trees pose a threat to public safety,” Mogulof said.

Most students are still away from campus until classes resume Jan. 15, he added.

Ashley McBride is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email:

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