Family members have identified the San Diego woman killed by a falling tree in Pacific Beach during a powerful winter storm Sunday.
Professional drummer Nicki Carano, 48, was on her way to a performance with her two bands when her car was crushed by a falling tree, her brother told NBC 7.
On Sunday, Carano was traveling along Ingraham Street near Crown Point around 3 p.m. when a massive tree, measuring eight feet in diameter, fell across the road.
Emergency crews responded by there was nothing they or passersby could do to save Nicki.
Her brother, David, said his older sister was the glue that held their family together.
"My greatest memory over the last five years, she just at the drop of a hat did everything and anything for our kids," David said. "She was funny and super professional."
"She was just a firecracker," he added. "Totally compassionate but always told you how she felt."
Bandmate Matt Silvia with the Christopher Dale Trio said Carano was one of the best musicians he had ever seen.
"She was technically sound and she could playquietly, which is a rare thing to find in drummers," Silvia said.
Silvia was a "very sweet person" who never had a bad things to say.
"I dreamt about her last night, a testament to how much I've been thinking about her," he said.
He said he didn't know how he and Christopher would move on without her.
"I keep thinking about her last moments," Silvia said. "They say she died instantly, which is a comfort. But I can't help thinking she must have been terrified as the tree was coming down."
Friend Kevin Charles Patterson talked with NBC 7 about how Nicki inspired him to face new challenges.
"If we are to take something from this, it's to learn to grow," he said.
Carano's band posted on Facebook, “Our drummer and vocalist was killed while making her way to the show. We are going to collect ourselves for this is a loss that’s heavier than one can explain.”
San Diego City emergency dispatch received close to 350 calls of downed or damaged trees to its 24-hour hotline. You can call (619) 527-7500 if you need to report a downed tree in your neighborhood.