NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – High wind gusts brought down trees across the Tri-State Area, including one terrifying sight in Queens that smashed two cars and sent two people to the hospital – one with serious injuries.
A massive tree ended up lying across a parked car’s windshield while nearby a second car was hit, pinning a driver in his seat, reports CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
“He was trapped, he couldn’t get the door open,” said witness Ronald Lilly. “Look at the tree. If he was up maybe three, four more feet he probably would’ve got killed, because look at where the tree went.”Lilly says he was spared thanks to the kindness of another driver.
“Took out my light, there’s my light on the ground here, but that should have been me,” said Lilly, pointing out the damage. “I’m truly, truly grateful and blessed that because of him being a nice guy, he let me go first.”
On Staten Island, investigators believe rain and wind made a retaining wall crumble in front of a home on Lightner Avenue. Firefighters were called there around 3 p.m. as the skies quickly returned to blue – but rubble remained all over the block.
In Rockland County, Ramapo police say strong winds caused a fire after two trees were knocked down by the weather and brought two utility poles with them.
Police say one of the poles with live wires fell on top of a car. The driver managed to escape before it caught fire, but was taken to the hospital for head neck and back injuries.
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A similar situation happened in Bergen County where these trees came down in Harrington Park, which then tore down power lines and cut out electricity.
“It was a blustery afternoon and all of a sudden this branch came down right on their tree, took out the power line and then sparks started flying,” said Doug Henschen of Harrington Park. “The water main started leaking and all hell broke loose.”