A pregnant woman sitting on park bench in Queens was killed by a falling tree Sunday evening. A second woman was also injured.
Yingyi Li-Dikov was in Kissena Park in Flushing around 6:20 pm when the uprooted oak tree fell on her. A witness, Sam Kim, said an EMT who happened to be in the park turned her over and noticed that she had a weak pulse and began performing chest compressions. An ambulance arrived with minutes.
The 30-year-old, who was six months pregnant, was pronounced dead on arrival after being taken to New York Hospital Queens. According to police, Li-Dikov was in cardiac arrest when medics arrived.
The second woman suffered minor injuries and refused treatment.
“There was a loud crack and a screeching sound,” said 49-year-old John Pace. “By the time I walked over to look, I saw the tree fell right into the bench where this woman was sitting. I couldn’t believe it.”
Salvatore Delligatti, who lives across from the park, said problems with the trees were common.
“I walk here every day and there are branches coming down all of the time,” the 64-year-old said. “There’s been a few people hurt in the park, but nothing this tragic.”
Delligatti said his wife, Angelina, was walking their dog just a few feet away from where the tree fell on Li-Dikov. She saw two men pulling her from underneath the tree.
Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Parks Advocates, said there have been at least 12 injuries caused by falling tree branches in the past two months.
State Sen. Tony Avella blamed the city for failing to maintain the trees in the park.
“It’s unacceptable,” he said. “You can’t keep saying it’s an act of God.”
Yingyi Li-Dikov’s husband, 20-year-old Alexander Dikov, said his wife immigrated from China and graduated from Ithaca College in 2009. The couple married in June 2012 and were expecting a daughter. They had recently moved to New York from Texas, where DIkov was going through basic training for the National Guard.
“She was a very great and loving person,” he said. “I was so happy to be with her. She was the one for me. She was the best thing. I don’t think I’ll find another girl like her. I know I won’t.”