Falling Trees in Queens Claim First Victim


A 38-year-old woman was hit by a falling “tree branch or limb” in Ridgewood, Queens, and is in critical condition at Wycoff Hospital, WNBC reports.

1010 WINS elaborates: “The woman was reportedly walking down the sidewalk Sunday around 3:30 p.m. when the branch, about 14-feet long and 10-inches wide, fell from alongside a Long Island Railroad overpass.”

Residents told the New York Post that “heavy rains probably loosened its weak roots and vibrations from the passing train likely caused it to finally fall.” “If it was a few moments later it would have been me,” said a passer-by.

It might have been any number of Queens residents. As NY1 previously reported, a storm last weekend had already taken down at least 25 trees in Queens, by the Parks Department’s count.

During the storm one tree “fell into some power lines that caught on fire and forced residents on 161st Street to evacuate for about two hours”; another hit a house on 37th Street.

These are far from the first tree-falling incidents reported in Queens this year, though it is the first to critically injure a pedestrian. On March 10, a storm dropped trees on cars in Rosedale, Hollis, and Corona, reported NY1. During another storm on June 10, per NY1, a car owned by Syed Jamil of Jamaica Hills was crushed by a tree of which Jamil had previously complained to the authorities.

Parks Department personnel had been summoned, Jamil said, but “they said there was nothing wrong with that. But I had my landscaper, he told me the tree was dying.”

New Yorkers are always well-advised to keep their heads up, especially in heavily-wooded precincts such as Queens. So should LIRR officials, considering that the tree that hit the woman in Queens today appears to have been rooted “alongside a Long Island Railroad overpass”: local law firm Sakkas & Cahn, LLP reports winning a settlement of $3 million for “Pedestrian Struck by Falling Tree –Death of Victim — Emotional Injuries to Family.”