The weather this weekend has been uncharacteristically harsh in parts of the U.S. as powerful winds have been whipping across the Midwest and Northeast leaving a trail of destruction centered around falling trees and power lines. At least two persons have been killed as a result and reports indicate nine others have been injured.
On Sunday, a thoroughly rotted tree was believed to have succumbed to the strong gusts of wind in the area of Abington, Massachusetts, and toppled over. The tree fell onto a passing car, severely damaging the roof and trapping the two passengers inside. Though they were eventually rescued from the car, their injuries were fatal and they were pronounced dead later in the day.
According to Boston.com, the occupants of the car were a man, aged 49-years-old and a woman, who was 51-years-old. They had been driving down the residential street of Rockland — about 20 miles southeast of Boston — when the rotted tree fell onto the roof of their car. Abington Fire Chief John M. Nuttall said personnel from the firefighters department encountered the scene at approximately 10:15 a.m., and recognizing the seriousness of the situation, called for back-up. In total, three fire engines, two ambulances and an abundance of off-duty personnel responded to the incident bringing the requested Jaws of Life with them.
The car, a black BMW 750Li sedan, proved difficult to extract from under the tree since the roof had been smashed in, but eventually the Jaws of Life were used to extract both of passengers from the car. Both the man and the woman were then transported to South Shore Hospital with life threatening injuries. Nuttall advised that they both later succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced dead at the hospital.
The identities of the two persons killed has not yet been released to the public as authorities would like to notify their family members prior. They do advise, though, that neither person was from the town of Abington. At a press conference in the afternoon, Nuttall answered the question of what he believed led to the tree falling and killing the two persons.
“I would assume it was the wind conditions earlier today.”
Wind gusts in that area reached 60 mph on Sunday. Sunday morning saw the National Weather Service issuing a winter weather advisory as well as a high wind warning across southeastern New England.
NBC News also reported that the chillingly powerful gusts of wind had also left about 370,000 utility customers without electricity from Wisconsin to Maine on Sunday morning. Nine, non-life-threatening injuries reported from the Midwest and the Northeast on account of the wind.
In College Park, Maryland, another tree fell onto a car with two persons inside; but, in this case, they are expected to recover from their injuries. In Newark, New Jersey, a tree fell onto a house and injured four persons.
The National Weather Service has issued high wind warnings for a number of states that is expected to last well into the afternoon as wind gusts could top 60 mph. Over 370,000 utility customers from Wisconsin to Maine are without power as of Sunday morning with the most significant outage being in the state of Pennsylvania, where approximately 82,000 customers were in the dark.
The high winds are often paired with snow and is expected to create white-out conditions on the roads.
[Photo Courtesy of Ted S. Warren/AP Images]