UVALDE, Texas — For a city that praises itself as Tree City, USA, it’s exactly that that’s left Uvalde resident Olga Cano and her family devastated.
“He was my baby,” said Olga, Giovanni’s mother, as she began to cry. “That was my baby, no matter what.”
On Sunday, Uvalde Police responded to South Hight Street after calls that a child was hit by a tree limb. Police say the branch was partially hanging near the roadway when Giovanni Cano was playing with it.
The limb broke off and hit the 6-year-old. He was quickly rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Now his family is demanding answers as to why the old tree was still up in the first place.
“I still feel like this can’t be real,” said, Veronica Cano, Giovanni’s aunt. “That branch was falling. I don’t know how the city workers and all the police officers that pass daily, multiple times...this street was way too active for them not to see it.
"It was falling.”
Neighbors told KENS 5 someone reported the downed tree earlier that Sunday, but no one from the city came to clean it up. Uvalde Police tell KENS 5 that, to their knowledge, there were no reports before the incident that killed Giovanni.
Calls and in-person visits to Uvalde City Administration with questions went answered.
But what hurts the most for the Cano family is that the problem hasn’t gone away. And on Wednesday morning. another large branch fell from the tree.
“I was in shock,” said Giovanni’s Aunt Tina, who caught the aftermath on camera. “I thought they already had taken care of the tree, so I don’t understand why it fell again."
City crews removed the limb within an hour of Wednesday’s fall, but it only reignited Giovanni’s family’s frustrations with the city, and their hope to get this issue fixed before someone else gets hurt.
“They need to cut it down,” Veronica said. “What does it take for it to be an issue for them?”
Uvalde's chief of police told KENS 5 a specialist was planning to go out to the tree to assess if the tree should be taken down or not.