A massive Central Park tree fell on a woman as she attempted to shield her three small children from the branches. The unidentified 29-year-old woman was hit in the head and trapped under the thick branches of the tree in the popular New York City park.
FDNY crews were called to Central Park West and West 62nd Street around 10 a.m. today to help rescue the woman trapped under the tree. Four mounted police officers who just happened to be riding near the area where the Central Park tree fell, heard the loud crack as it tore from the earth and saw it fall.
The NYC mounted police officers and a host of Central Park visitors rushed to the mother's aid. When the NYPD officers were able to reach the woman trapped under the tree, she was alert and asking what had happened, ABC7 New York news reports.
The New York City police officers and a group of good Samaritans worked together to remove as many of the branches from the Central Park tree as possible to reduce the weight being pressed upon the young mother. The officers and volunteers helped to keep the woman still until the emergency squad could arrive.
West Drive at 62nd Steet is closed to vehicles, pedestrians & bicycles due to a fallen tree. Please find alternate routes. @CentralParkNYC pic.twitter.com/BIiNigEQUsOne eyewitness who saw the Central Park tree fall on the mother said she lost consciousness for several moments. The witness also said the little boys and the baby were crying but appeared to be alright.
— NYPD Central Park (@NYPDCentralPark) August 15, 2017
The woman hit by the Central Park tree was carrying her baby boy and pushing her toddler sons, ages 2 and 4, in a stroller. Tammy Jones, a witness to the incident, said the tree started "crackling" and then just fell over a few seconds later.
"It was giant, it was across all of them, we were able to pull the branches back and get the three [the child was two according to most news reports] and four-year-old out pretty easily, but then the baby was strapped to her so that took a little bit," another witness, Jack Jones, said. "They had the stroller tipped up against her so I think that kind of saved them."
Women trapped underneath. Good samaritans helping out. #CentralParkTreeFall pic.twitter.com/dUUbzv3UjIThe mother, her two little boys and her baby were transported to New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. The toddlers and the baby were listed in serious condition due to their young age, but local authorities maintain the youngsters primarily suffered bumps and bruises.
— Erin Ade (@erinade) August 15, 2017
NYPD mounted police officer Megan O'Leary said an emergency scene becomes more emotional when there are children involved, especially for first responders who are also parents. O'Leary has a 2-year-old child as well, and deemed the Central Park tree incident as "definitely heart-breaking."
The NYPD has shut down the area to foot traffic, vehicles, and bicycles for the time being. The Central Park tree that fell on the mother and blocked a park roadway, CBS News reports. According to a release by the New York City Parks Department, crews have been called out to Central Park to investigate the incident and to remove the tree.
The tree that fell on the young mother is maintained by the Central Park Conservancy.
[Featured Image by Melpomene/Shutterstock]