City Removes Decayed Tree That Fell on 4 People in Riverside Park; Group Was Celebrating a Birthday


Photo by Alison Greenberg.

The city has removed the remainder of a tree whose massive branch fell on four people in Riverside Park on Wednesday. Multiple people suffered head injuries and were taken to the hospital.

An inspection showed that “internal decay had caused the limb failure” in the 36″ pin oak, according to the Parks Department.

The Daily News reported that the people who were hit had gathered for a birthday party.

“My wife is one of the people who was hospitalized. She has a head injury,” said one man, a Chelsea art dealer who didn’t give his name. “The others had head and body injuries – nothing serious.”

They were part of a group of seven celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday, he said.

He said he rushed to park after learning of the accident, adding, “It was calm, not windy, not anything.”

The tree came down on a park bench, and crashed into two of the revelers’ lawn chairs.

The Parks Department said that the tree had last been inspected by a forester in 2017.

“Our foresters inspected the tree on April 20, 2017 and listed it in good condition. It was last pruned on May 12, 2017.

Trees in landscaped areas of public parks are inspected monthly by park supervisors. Additionally, we do proactive inspections through the Parks Inspection Program, and before contract pruning in large park zones. We also respond to public service requests submitted by New Yorkers through 311 or nyc.gov/parks.”

NEWS | 1 comment | permalink
    1. George W. Teebor says:

      I walk in the park every day and appreciate its beauty. However many of the old trees are in dire need of pruning and if not, there will be more accidents. Yesterday another limb fell directly onto the walk between 79th and 91st street. I know tree pruning is expensive but it must be done to avoid more injuries and to maintain the health of the old trees.