Chico State Student Dies of Injuries After Being Hit by a Tree Branch


Pa Houa Lor, an 18-year-old California State University student died Tuesday after sustaining injuries from a large oak tree branch that fell from about 20 feet and struck her head.

Lor was sitting on a bench between Lassen Hall and Butte Hall when a branch measuring 14 inches in diameter fell and hit her head at about 3:10 p.m. When people found her unconscious, they immediately rushed her to Enloe Medical Center. While transporting Lor to the medical center, personnel of the Chicago Fire Department performed CPR on her.

However, she was declared dead later that afternoon.

A witness apparently noticed Lor plugged with earphones when the branch fell on Tuesday, according to The Orion, Chico State's student newspaper.

The tragic accident came as a surprise to the campus community.

"I've been here 16 years, and I've never heard of anything like this," said Joe Wills, campus public affairs director. "I don't know of any other incidents like this."

Wills said that two arborists investigated the tree, Tuesday and Wednesday, and concluded that it need not be removed or chopped off.

"She was a very positive person - shy, respectful, a really good student," said Victoria Bass, coordinator of Educational Opportunity Program admissions. "Her parapro (paraprofessional) adviser from last year described her as a wonderful student who worked hard to maintain her GPA."

Zach Barrett, an academic adviser remembers Lor as a calm and enthusiastic student.

"She worked really hard to make her dream of going to college come true," Barrett said. "We're just really sad that it happened."

Lor, a Chico High School graduate, is a second-year Chico State student and health science major. She aspired to become a nurse some day.

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