Couple Visiting San Diego Die in 'Freaky Accident'

A 75-foot pine fell on their rental home
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 23, 2019 12:33 AM CST

(Newser) – A North Dakota couple died while vacationing in San Diego when a 75-foot-tall pine tree crashed onto their rental house as they slept, relatives and police say. Troy and Jessica Nelson ran a promotional products and apparel company, Trojan Promotions, in Grand Forks. They were spending the weekend at the Point Loma Heights house after attending a trade show during the week, according to Troy Nelson's sister, Tammy Reynolds. They were sleeping upstairs when the tree toppled in gusty winds around 6am Monday, the AP reports. The ground had been saturated by recent rains. Reynolds says her sister-in-law's brother, Ryan Langerud, was on the first floor of the house and survived.

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"It's such a freaky accident," Reynolds tells the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I guess we're all so numb from it, and for both of them to go." Reynolds says Langerud told her he found himself in the basement with items on top of him and initially was confused as to what had happened. Langerud told her it sounded like an airplane had crashed into the house. Trojan Promotions senior production manager Krisi Lund said Tuesday the future of the company is up in the air as its employees grieve the deaths of the Nelsons. She described the couple as "generous beyond belief in every aspect of their lives." San Diego Police Lt. Christian Sharp says the fallen tree caused a gas leak in the house and clipped some power lines.

(Read more San Diego stories.)

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