Corona native, 23, killed by falling tree in freak accident

Authorities suspect recent winds weakened the tree's roots causing it to fall.

Video Transcript

- It is a heartbreaking story. 23-year-old Khalil Gaye of Corona was killed by a fallen tree in northern California just three days into his new job. Eyewitness News reporter John Gregory with reaction from his family on the sudden and tragic end to this young man's promising life.

[LAUGHING]

JOHN GREGORY: Just graduated from college and working at a new job, Khalil Gay was on his way in a new life. The Corona native who was working at Color, a Bay Area company, that does COVID testing. His family could not have been more proud.

DARRL GAY: He was very excited, and we talked about, like, the benefits, and what he was going to be doing in the lab. And he was very excited because it was, for sure, going to be for a good cause.

JOHN GREGORY: From pride to heartbreak and for a reason that's so hard to understand. On his third day on the job on his way to work, a tree fell on Khalil killing him. He had just called his family earlier in the day.

NADIRA GAY: He died instantly. And that was the last time his family ever heard back from him until they received the heart breaking news.

JOHN GREGORY: Authorities suspect recent winds weakened the trees roots, but that doesn't make it any easier to understand.

NADIRA GAY: He just always had a smile on his face and was very positive. I've never experienced him being negative.

JOHN GREGORY: 23 years old, just starting out and now gone. Family could only remember the best of Khalil as they try to come to grips with the freak accident that took him so soon.