DAVIS, CA - A mother and her young son narrowly missed being hit by a falling tree branch at Chestnut Park in Davis.
"The first thing I thought was 'I'm going to get smashed,'" Rachel Ottlinger said. "That would be the most horrible thing that's happened to me."
It happened Tuesday afternoon when Ottlinger, her son Logan, and her boyfriend were sitting under a tree.
"I just hear snapping and cracking," recounted boyfriend Charles Campbell. "And I yelled, 'Run!'"
Logan jumped off his mom's lap.
"As I was getting up to run, I looked and [Ottlinger] was in the fetal position" Campbell explained.
"All I did was just tuck and roll a little bit," Ottlinger said.
At that moment, Ottlinger's survival instincts kicked in.
"I'm going to the hospital or I'm dead," Ottlinger remembered thinking. "That's what made me cover everything up and roll."
The branch fell from about 20 feet above. It grazed Ottlinger's arm. It wasn't wasn't until she got up that she realized how lucky she was.
"It was really scary," Ottlinger said. "I was really shaken up."
It's unknown why the branch fell, but Ottlinger feels the city needs to step up park maintenance, especially since so many families visit the park.
"I just want the park safe for children." Ottlinger said.
"I believe I did save my family's life. It all happened in seconds," Campbell added. "But, I did what any other father would do."
News10 called Davis' arborist, but did not get a reply when this article was posted.