RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Powerful winds took down a tree Saturday morning in New Jersey, pinning a woman underneath.
First responders rushed to help the 44-year-old woman after her leg became trapped under a big branch.
“She’s lucky she’s alive, because if it had hit her, obviously, in the upper torso or head… she was partially on the street, partially on the grassy area between the curb and the sidewalk,” neighbor Chris Sargente told CBS2’s Erin Logan.
He and Kathy Skrzypczak live on the corner of Woodland Avenue and Heights Road in Ridgewood, where the massive tree fell. They went over to help when they heard a scream.
“There wasn’t much we could do, because she’s pinned. But we were just trying to make her feel comfortable, and someone called her husband,” Skrzypczak said.
They told Logan the woman was walking her dog with a friend and just happened to pass by a home under construction when the tree came crashing down.
“My first thought was, ‘well, that could have been me,’” said Skrzypczak.
Sargent said the woman who was with the victim told him the very same thing.
“Mentioned in her half-hysteria that she believes she saved her life,” he said. “This woman said, ‘she pushed me out of the way,’ pushed her out of the way. But in that split second, the tree came down and pinned her on the ground.”
Neighbors said first responders showed up within minutes, hovering over the victim, then bringing her to safety and rushing her to an area hospital.
They said they dreaded a situation like this, but it wasn’t all that surprising.
“Every time there’s a storm, or wind or a lot snow, we’re always looking at all the trees around here, thinking I hope they survive this storm,” Skrzypczak said.
Neighbors said they thought they were in the clear from the Nor’easter when they woke up Saturday morning, but they were still dealing with strong winds.
Now, they’re just thankful the woman is going to be OK and no area children were playing outside at the time.