Family details heartbreak after Redwood tree kills parents of five

YREKA, Cali. – The community is rallying around a Yreka family after two of their own died a week ago after a Redwood tree fell on their car.

Now, NBC5 News is hearing firsthand from one of the family members.

It’s unimaginable, but for the Woodruff family, it’s their reality.

“Things like this that happen usually happen to the best of people,” Amanda Maffei, Jessica Woodruff’s first cousin.

On Thursday, March 25th, Yreka parents Jake and Jessica woodruff were on Highway 199 in Del Norte Co. headed for a weekend away. An annual tradition for Jessica’s birthday. Suddenly, a Redwood Tree fell on their car killing the couple on sight. The couple leaves behind 5 children.

“The older two Megan and Evan, have stepped up incredibly they’re a really tight-knit family. These children are all very close,” said Maffei.

Maffei is Jessica’s first cousin she told NBC5 News more than a week later she’s still in shock.

“I’m doing better than last Friday, but it’s just [taking] one day at a time,” said Maffei.

Maffei set up a Go Fund Me for her cousins. In the span of a week, the fundraiser has already raised over $300,000. The family’s goal is $500,000.

*NBC5 News does not guarantee money deposited to this account will be applied for the benefit of the person or persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering making a donation, you should consult your own advisors, and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Katie Streit
NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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