NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Four people are recovering after a large tree limb crashed down on them in Riverside Park on Wednesday night.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer spoke exclusively with one victim on Thursday.
A group of seven friends were sitting in a circle in the park when that limb came down on them, sending multiple people to the hospital.
“I did have some corneal abrasion and there was a splinter of wood inside my eye,” Reuben Sinha said.
Sinha said his injuries are minor compared to his friends.
“My other friend, Catherine, she has a broken rib and she had staples in her skull. I think she got hit in the back of the head and there was a lot of blood,” Sinha said.
He said another suffered a broken arm, cut on her head, and initially wasn’t moving.
“I tried to pick up the tree, but I could only pick up my branch and her branch just wasn’t moving,” Sinha said. “Pain just kind of kicked in and I decided to lie down and take a nap.”
Sinha was later seen on a gurney.
“All these big guys and everybody is just picking up the tree. Someone who is a doctor came by and asked, ‘Are you OK?’ and started questioning me,” Sinha said.
The 53-year-old said the friends were celebrating his wife’s 50th birthday, and were practicing social distancing by sitting in chairs in a large circle.
He said they chose the spot because they thought it was less crowded than Central Park.
“Three of us … we had our back to the tree and we were talking and we heard the crack and we heard a second crack and we all kind of turned around and by the time out of the corner of my eye I realized what was happening, I think I just said, ‘Look out!’ when I got hit on the head pretty hard and I lost my glasses.”
Sinha said they’re lucky to be alive and he has since purchased a lottery ticket.
“If the chances of a tree falling on you is 1 in a million, then maybe I can translate that 1 in a million to my benefit,” he said.
He said the friends are all grateful to those who ran to help them.
“Just shows that we do care for each other,” Sinha said.
His wife is OK. He said the limb missed his 17-year-old daughter by an inch.
One person remains hospitalized.