Family members described San Jose resident as polite, kindhearted and social
The Indian American woman killed while hiking with her 17-year old son during a Boy Scouts event near Cupertino Sunday has been identified as 44-year-old Vidyut Nautiyal from San Jose.
Nautiyal died after a tree fell on her as she was hiking in Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, according to the Santa Clara County coronerâ€™s office.
Nautiyal was hiking on the Stephen E. Abbors Trail, which runs along the south edge of the park in the hills above Cupertino, when the tree fell on her Sunday morning.
Santa Clara County firefighters were called to the park at about 10 am on Sunday for a woman pinned beneath a tree about 3.5 miles from the open spaceâ€™s parking lot. Bystanders tried in vain to free her, but they couldnâ€™t until after firefighters arrived. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Family members described Nautiyal as polite, kindhearted and social. Those close to her told ABC7 News, grief and sorrow have engulfed them.
The victim had ties to San Jose State. The university confirmed to the channel Nautiyal graduated in 2009 with a Master’s in Nutritional Science.
“All the trails have a tree close by. So it’s not like something you can really prevent,” Cupertino resident Massimiliano de Zambotti told ABC7 News as he visited the park on Monday.
News of Nautiyal’s death was shocking, but not surprising to many hikers, ABC7 said. However, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space officials said the death was the first incident of its kind in the district’s 50-year history.
They’re also urging visitors to use caution on trails in natural areas, which they say continue to be impacted by unprecedented storms this winter.
On Monday, a freshly chopped tree laid on the side of the path about 3.5 miles from the open spaceâ€™s parking lot, surrounded by mounds of fresh sawdust, according to The Mercury News.
The muddy trail leading to it was littered with dozens of other trees along each side â€” many of which appeared to have fallen in recent weeks.
It appears Nautiyal had been hiking with her son as part of a Boy Scouts of America event when the tree fell on her, an executive with the group confirmed to the newspaper.
â€œWe will continue to cooperate with investigating authorities,â€ Eric Tarbox, chief executive of the Boy Scoutsâ€™ Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council,stated Sunday night. â€œAll Scouts are safe and there were no additional injuries.â€
Nautiyalâ€™s death marks the latest tragedy stemming from one of the Bay Areaâ€™s most rain-soaked winters in recent years, Mercury News said.
While a parade of storms and atmospheric rivers in recent months helped kick the region out of one of its worst droughts on record, the stormy weather came at the cost of at least 21 lives across the state, including from trees falling onto people or into houses, it said.