PASSAIC, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A man is dead and several other people are recovering in the hospital atfer a large tree branch was struck by lightning and fell during a Mother’s Day barbecue in Passaic, New Jersey Sunday afternoon.

Police say lighting struck the tree at 375 Paulison Ave. just before 5:00 p.m, causing a large branch to fall on top of a crowd in the backyard.

Officials say it happened so fast the family couldn’t get out of the way.

A total of six people were rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson. A 28-year-old man was taken in critical condition, but later succumbed to his injuries.

“We’re a city right now in shock and trying to unite together in prayer for the family on this Mother’s Day,” Passaic Mayor Hector Lora said. “The children lost a parent, and a mother is in a hospital.”

Authorities are withholding his identification pending family notification.

Stick with CBSNewYork for more on this developing story.

More From CBS New York

Download Weather App
Talkers
60 Minutes Hear It On Demand

Watch & Listen LIVE