In a tragic accident, an unborn baby has died as a result of a tree branch landing on her mother's vehicle. Elizabeth Stear, who was 36-weeks pregnant at the time of the incident, was driving down Arrowe Park Road in Wirral when a massive tree branch came down crushing both her and her car.
Unable to move, Stear was trapped inside her Audi A4 and needed to be rescued by emergency services. Rescue crews removed the large horse chestnut tree branch and managed to get Stear out. Taken immediately to the major trauma centre at the Aintree Hospital, she was prepped for an emergency c-section.
Baby Lucia was born with no signs of life and the duo were then transferred to Liverpool Women's Hospital. Doctors attempted to resuscitate the baby but there was too much damage done from the accident. She was pronounced dead not long after.
Looking into the accident, the blame is falling on the Wirral Borough Council as a result of failing to inspect the trees for over 13 years. Senior Coroner Andre Rebello said that the council was negligent in terms of proper tree management and the branch did contribute to Lucia's death.
To add to the frustration, another tree branch had fallen on the same road in January 2015 and although the council said they would address the issue, no inspection was done. Now, Stear and her family have to cope with the fact that Lucia is dead due to this negligence.
Blaming it on a lack of communication, the Wirral Borough Council says they now will make the changes necessary to keep everyone safe. Upon hearing of Lucia's death, Councillor Julie McManus says that there is now "substantial investment by the council." The community is frustrated that it took Lucia dying for them to make the road safe.
McManus says that "there are no words that could make things any better for the family" but that the council will be diligent from now on in terms of putting tree branch policies in place. We hope that Lucia's family can get the justice they need to cope with this situation and that no more people need to be hurt in order to be safe under the council's watch.