NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A giant tree came crashing down at the popular Kissena Park in Flushing, Queens Sunday evening, leaving a pregnant woman dead.
As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, another woman was also injured when the tree came down.
Police were notified of the accident at 6:25 p.m. The woman, who was reportedly in her 30s, was sitting on a bench under the tree when part of it fell.
Officials told 1010 WINS the woman was pregnant. She was reported in traumatic cardiac arrest and in critical condition when she was rushed to New York Hospital Queens. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
It was not known how many months pregnant the woman was, or what happened to the unborn baby after the woman died.
Witnesses were in shock.
“We were standing around, and just heard a loud crash and a boom,” said witness Sam Kim. “So my friend and I — we ran over, and when we got there, we saw a girl lying face down and blood just pouring out of her head.”
Witnesses said the unidentified woman was split in two when a large branch of the falling tree crushed her.
Salvatore Delligatti’s wife was just feet away when the tree fell.
“If the dog had not stopped — she was only 10, 20 feet away from it, and within a few seconds the tree came down. It would have come down on top of her,” he said.
Witnesses say an EMT who happened to be at the park rushed over to try and save the woman.
“He immediately turned her over, and he checked her pulse and noticed her pulse was really weak, and he immediately performed compressions on her chest,” Kim said.
The woman was reported in cardiac arrest and in critical condition when she was rushed to New York Hospital Queens. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Another woman was also injured, and taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
On Sunday night, many were questioning how the accident could possibly happen.
“On such a clear day like this — it wasn’t that breezy at the time it happened,” Kim said.
Some officials said this accident could have been prevented, and more needs to be done.
“The city does not put enough money into tree maintenance, and I’ve been furious with the mayor for his plan to plant a million trees when we don’t take care of the trees we already have now,” said state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens.)
“This is the twelfth injury over the last eight weeks,” added Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates. “We have been calling on the city to properly inspect its trees; maintain its trees, and it is outrageous.”
The Department of Parks and Recreation was on the scene investigating Sunday night, but did not offer any further information.
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