NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Four people were injured after a large tree fell onto a walking path in Riverside Park on Wednesday evening.
Parks are one of the few places New Yorkers can go these days, and four friends were sitting on the grass together, enjoying the weather, when out of nowhere a massive tree split and came down on them.
“This was something like a movie, like surreal. The tree fell in slow motion,” witness Sara Shuleditz-Vorhand told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
Police say just after 6 p.m., a massive tree limb split in the park off West 91st Street, falling on three women and one man, all in their late 40s to 50s.
Good Samaritans heard the crash and rushed to help.
“Everyone was so brave. They were trying to hold the tree up and everyone was trying to help and it really showed New Yorkers, that there were so many Good Samaritans that were trying to save the people and they seemed like they were moving,” Shuleditz-Vorhand said.
The four victims were taken to Saint Luke’s Hospital, where they’re being treated for head and arm injuries.
On a sunny, 70-degree day with winds only about 10 mph, there were plenty of people in the park.
Witness Robert Weil says a woman sitting on a nearby bench was spared by inches.
“The two tree branches came on both sides of her and missed her totally and she was enveloped by the tree and I spoke to her and said, ‘This is your luckiest day of your life’ because she was within inches of each side of being killed,” he said.
All four of those victims are expected to be OK. Police say their injuries are not life-threatening.
The parks department is investigating how this happened and when the tree was last inspected.