Five kids orphaned as parents die after 175ft tree falls and crushes car

In a terrible freak accident in northern California, a couple were killed when a 175ft redwood tree crushed their vehicle.

The tragic event has left their five children back in their home town of Yreka orphaned and a "close-knit" family "forever changed".

It is understood that Jessica and Jake Woodruff were travelling along Route 199 in Del Norte County near Crescent City, while enjoying an annual trip up the coast for Jessica’s 45th birthday when they were struck by the tree.

According to police, they were called to the crash just before 12pm on Thursday (March 25) where detectives say the family's Honda was travelling southbound.

According to The Sun, California Highway Patrol officer Brandy Gonzalez said: "It’s the most unusual incident I’ve seen in my 19-year career.”

“We’re very prone to Mother Nature in this area. We do have trees come across lanes sometimes, and we think, ‘Luckily it didn’t hurt anybody.'”

“The timing in this case was just crazy,”

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Redwood trees are some of the largest and tallest trees in the world and renowned for inhabiting the forests of California, drawing in thousands of tourists each year.

In response to the travesty, a GoFundMe appeal has been set up in the hope of raising money for the five children.

The fundraiser created by Amanda Maffei names the children as Megan, Evan, Casey, Allie, and Chelsea and asks for anyone's support.

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So far the page has raised over $210,000 dollars for the family and over 2,000 people have donated – the fundraiser is hoping to generate $500,000 dollars.

In the latest update on the page on Monday it says: " There is no getting around the devastation and trauma the loss of Jessica and Jake has brought, and as we can all imagine, there is a long road ahead, especially for the children who have been left behind.

"Knowing that this family and these children have been shown so much support the past few days is beyond incredible."

The page thanks the public on behalf of the Woodruff/Shinar and Honey families.

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