NEW MILFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — The storms Tuesday claimed a life in New Milford, Connecticut, after devastating winds tore through the area.

As CBS 2’s Elise Finch reported, splintered, cracked and damaged tree parts littered the streets of New Milford, a small town just north of Danbury, after the severe thunderstorms downed hundreds of trees.

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“The wind picked up and it just started — sideways rain, everything,” said Frank Turchiano. “And then I just heard the snap and crackle, and then a boom.”

When one of the trees fell on a winding road, it also brought down electrical wires and a transformer.
Police said it all landed on top of a car — killing the driver, a 49-year-old New Milford man.

“The vehicle caught fire, and that time also, the wires energized the car, so when the victim attempted to escape the car, he was electrocuted at that time,” said New Milford police Lt. Lawrence Ash.

According to Connecticut Light & Power, the storms knocked out electricity to nearly 2,000 New Milford customers. As a result, school was canceled for all grades. Over 13,000 customers were without power statewide in Connecticut as of 5 p.m.

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Work was also cancelled for some residents so they could clean up.

The storms Tuesday were so violent that a nearly 200-year-old tree was ripped out of the ground and sent crashing onto a nearby house.

It was a scene repeated all over town, including at the office of Dr. John Turchiano.

“From the trunk up, it fell on top of the building and was laying across the building; smashed in the roof, opened up gaping holes on the roof and water coming straight down,” he said. “Now I have an idea how strong nature can be.”

Investigators from the National Weather Service were sent to assess the scene and determine what exactly caused this deadly damage.

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