Car crashes near “Madonna Tree,” no occupants found


California Highway Patrol officers are probing the bizarre crash of a car that, for some reason Monday morning, left Sierra Highway near the “Madonna tree,” flipped over, plunged down a shallow embankment where it was found impaled on a pole.

The incident was reported to emergency response officials shortly after 8:30 a.m. Monday.

“This call came in as an auto collision on West Sierra Highway near Davenport Road,” Vanessa Lozano, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

“It was for a vehicle found overturned near the Lady Madonna tree, wrapped around a pole,” she said.

Firefighters found a gray Toyota Avalon about 15 to 20 feet down an embankment, crashed into a pole.

No one was reported hurt or injured.

“No patients were found,” Lozano said.

Paramedics arrived at the crash site at 9:08 a.m. and left five minutes later.

Over the years, many media reports have documented the lone partially-burned sycamore tree on an isolated stretch of Sierra Highway which survived the Buckweed Fire of 2007.

When the fire was extinguished, it left a charred husk in the tree’s main trunk that caused passing motorists to veer off the highway for a closer look.

More than one person have stopped to see what others reported seeing — the image of the hooded Virgin Mary, head bent as if looking at the dusty shoulder of the road, on Sierra Highway about a mile north of Davenport Road.

The image prompted several local people to refer to the tree as the ‘Virgin Mary Tree” or the “Madonna Tree.”

It has also inspired scores of people over the years to nail their rosaries to the tree, set up a makeshift altar, hang lights and light candles as a show of respect and awe for the impression left and the image conveyed.

The Buckweed Fire devastated much of the Santa Clarita Valley, torching at least 38,356 acres locally, injuring five and destroying 21 homes.


[email protected]


on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS