Eric Medalle, a father of two and creative design director at The Pokémon Company, has died at the age of 42 after a tree fell on his car during a violent windstorm in Seattle, Washington. The emergency services rescued a young, unnamed girl - likely his daughter - who was trapped in the back seat.
Local news service Q13 Fox reported the story, and from there it didn't take long for the gaming community to identify the victim as a key member of The Pokémon Company's design team. Medalle worked on various aspects of design for numerous games in the series since 2008's Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia.
"It was a very large Douglas fir tree," said Seattle Parks & Recreation arborist Matt Stempley of the tree that crushed Medalle's car. "I think what happened yesterday was very unpredictable." The city, according to Q13 Fox, said there are no records of them having inspected the tree that fell, but arborists have said there was no obvious sign of damage.
"If we had done a risk assessment, the high wind and abnormal weather you really can't predict for that," added Stempley.