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.


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