Monday, June 28, 2010

Who's In Charge of Central Park's "Killer Tree"?

Gianna Ricciutti

6-month-old Gianna Ricciutt was killed on Saturday afternoon in Central Park by a fallen tree branch. 
This  is the second fatality, and the  forth accident caused by a fallen tree branch within the last year at Central Park. On February 25, A 46-year-old father from Brooklyn died when a branch fell and hit him.  On May 31, three people were reportedly hurt when a tree branch fell near 74th Street and the East Drive Central Park.  On July 29 2009, a 33-year-old Google engineer was knocked unconscious sustained brain and spinal injuries after being hit on the head by a rotted tree branch in the park.(Image: Facebook via NY Daily News)


A baby is dead. A mother is hospitalized. And still no one can say who was responsible for maintaining a tree after one of its falling branches struck them at the Central Park Zoo, according to the New York Daily News.

"The investigation as to why the limb fell is ongoing, as is a review of specific responsibility for tree maintenance," Parks Department spokeswoman Vickie Karp said Sunday.

The Central Park Conservancy, which handles tree maintenance in the park, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the zoo, did not respond to messages. The trunk of the tree is on zoo property; the branch fell just outside its gate.

Six-month-old Gianna Ricciutti, thought to be safe in her mother's arms as her father snapped a picture of them, was killed Saturday when a leafy green branch fell near the sea lion exhibit.

Mom Karla DelGallo, 33, of Union CityN.J., was also injured in the accident. She was in stable condition with a head injury at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell.

"The limb was in full leaf and appeared healthy," Karp said.

The leader of a watchdog group long critical of tree maintenance at Central Park said the tragedy should be a wakeup call.

"This is crazy. We really have to be looking at this - it's happening way too much," said Geoffrey Croft, president of the NYC Park Advocates. "We cannot have the public getting killed in the park."

A broken tree limb about 20 feet above the pathway in Central Park.

A broken tree limb about 20 feet above the pathway in Central Park.  The accident occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m. on the promenade just outside the Central Park Zoo's sea lion exhibit behind the Parks Department headquarters. (photo: Siegel for the NY Daily News)

Read More:

New York Daily News - June 28th 2010  - By Ruby Cramer and Helen Kennedy

 WCBS - June 28,  2010  - By Hazel Sanchez

MYFOX -  June 27, 2010 

WPIX - June 27, 2010 

New York Daily News - June 27th 2010 - By Rich Scapiro  

A Walk in The Park - June 26, 2010 

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