Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Central Park: Woman & Kids Struck By Massive Tree

A massive American Elm tree suddenly came down near 62nd Street and the West Drive, striking a family of four who were pinned beneath it.   The incident occured at 10:00am. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge


By Geoffrey Croft

A 39-year-old woman was knocked unconscious by a massive American Elm tree while she pushed a stroller in the park with her three children. 

Anne Goldman,  her three sons, 4, 2 and a 4-month old infant she was carrying wearing a baby carrier were pinned under the branches and tree canapy after the tree suddenly came down.

The size of the tree stetched across the lengh of the West Drive near 63rd Street.

Good Samaritans quickly arrived at the scene and worked together to remove the branches.

An NYPD mounted unit heading down to Trump building detail joined the rescue.

Officers said they heard a loud crack, "It happened very quickly," said police officer Joesph Tomeo.

The mother was lying on her back when police arrived.

"What happened, what happened," officer Tomeo said the woman asked.

The officer described the stroller as, "twisted" from the impact of the tree.

"It was heart breaking," said mounted NYPD officer Meghan O'Leary who also provided assistance at the scene.

FDNY removed tree limbs with chainsaws and EMS treated and removed the family.

All four of the victims were taken to New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.  Police said the infant had a few scratches and bruises.

"God helped her out,"  said Antonio Russo, 57, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn who said he was about 100 feet way on his bike when he is saw the tree come down.

"It came down in slow motion,"  he said. "It came down nice and easy."

Russo said the mother's youngest boy was crying.

"She just wanted to see her baby, " he said.

Investigators at the scene.

This afternoon Central Park Conservancy workers and a contractor removed the remains of the tree.

The incident occurred approximately 40 yards from where a Google engineer was severally injured when a large rotted tree branch fell and struck him in the head.

The city also quietly paid $3 million dollars to settle a case involving an Albanian immigrant from Brooklyn who was killed by a fallen American elm tree near 69th Street while walking through Central Park less than six months earlier.  That case was settled as the jury was being selected.  

In June 2013, a 59-year-old tourist from Indiana was injured after she was struck by a tree limb in Central Park.

Multiple lawsuits against the City are still pending.

  Good Samaritans helped the trapped family, working together to remove the branches.

A Central Park Conservancy worker removing the remains of the tree.

A Central Park Conservancy worker removes the remains of the large canopy debris field after the incident. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge

Read More:

New York Times - August 15, 2017 - By Sarah Maslin Nir and Jonathan Wolfe 

Central Park tree falls on mother holding infant son, trapping her, FDNY says

AMNY - August 15, 2017 -  By Alex Bazeley and Polly Higgins

Mother, Three Children Hurt After Tree Falls In Central Park

CBS - August 15, 2017 

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully someone privately documented the condition of the root system prior to the tree's removal. The frequency of tree failures in Central Park begs the question "what is Central Park Conservancy doing about tree maintenance?" Is anyone minding the store? I am not saying that Central Park's trees should be cut down - absolutely not. I am saying there is a responsibility to the public to ASSESS trees that have a high risk factor. NYC taxpayers are paying Central Park Conservancy to do that - are they???