The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said Briana Giunta, 26, of Gainesville, died Sunday, after a tree limb fell on her at Poe Springs State Park.
Giunta was at the spring at the park Sunday afternoon with her children and her boyfriend, just enjoying a day at the park with her family, when a storm came through, said Art Forgey, a spokesman with The Sheriff’s Office
“This was a very severe storm,” he said. “Blew in very quickly with high winds.”
Forgey said a large limb fell out of a tree and struck Giunta. Authorities said a couple others were hit by the tree limb, too, but were not badly hurt. Forgey said authorities tried CPR, but Giunta was taken to Shands hospital, where she died Sunday.
“In reading the report, I don’t believe the boyfriend saw exactly what happened,” Forgey said. “He heard the crash and turned around and saw it. I’m not sure whether the kids saw it or not.”
Deputies are calling this tragedy a freak accident
Forgey said, “That just goes to show you how you need to embrace life to its fullest, because this was a very freak accident. It just goes to show that any freak accident can happen and ruin your life.”
On Monday, Fox 35 saw parks and recreation vehicles inside the closed park. Forgey said an autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
Briana's significant other, Andreau Garcia, told Fox 35 News he and Briana were engaged to be married in the coming months. He said he was with her when the accident happened.
“I was there,” He told Fox 35. "The tree snapped down. I saw the people fall. Me and three other guys did CPR until paramedics came.”
Garcia said he got the children to safety. He also wanted to thank a passerby, Phil Derickson, for what Garcia said was his help during the situation.
Garcia said he is having a tough time dealing with her death.
“Disbelief at first. It doesn't make any sense.”
About his fiancée, Garcia said, “She was stubborn, but a good person; very caring, a good mother. That's the person I wanted to spend my life with.”
Garcia said Briana leaves behind three children ages 5, 3 and one-and-a-half-year-old.
Garcia said funeral arrangements are pending.