TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Strong winds sent a tree crashing down onto a man in Teaneck, New Jersey Sunday.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the huge limbs came crashing down onto the pickup truck belong to Robert Battle, 60, and the impact rattled the neighborhood.
“Like an explosion; like a car accident actually,” said neighbor Rashaad Rice.
Most stunned was Battle. His truck was parked outside his mother’s home on Voorhees Street off Teaneck Road.
He had just finished an early Thanksgiving celebration with his family and was getting into his truck to head home, when his sister-in-law said sensed something was headed his way.
“He heard a creaking noise, and when he turned around, the tree was coming down,” said the victim’s sister-in-law, Ruth Battle. “He managed to get the upper part of his body out of the way. The tree crushed the front of the car and it would have crushed him if he didn’t get himself out of the way. Some of the limbs came down on his legs.”
Crews spent all day chopping apart the tree. Some large limbs landed on Battle’s lap, trapping him for at least 50 minutes until emergency crews could safely pry him out.
Battle was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
His family said he surprisingly did not break any bones.
The tree also cut power for 90 customers when it fell, according to PSE&G. Power was expected to be restored late Sunday.
“I always wondered when it’s going to fall and if it’s going to hurt anyone, so if finally happened,” said neighbor Eustace Jarrett.
Jarrett said for a long time, people on the street worried that the aging tree was rotting. He said they asked township leaders to remove it, but the full job was never done.
“They came and repaired some of the branches, but that tree was always a menace – always a menace,” Jarrett said, “and I’m not surprised that it fell.”
Teaneck Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin said he was unaware about any public concerns about the tree. But he said the township will be looking into it.
Battle’s family was thankful he was OK, and also that no one else was hurt.
The strong winds also brought down a large tree in West Nyack, Rockland County. Power lines came down with the tree.
Crews had to shut down South Greenbush Road, and the homeowner suffered minor injuries.