Tree Collapses on New Hyde Park Block Party Saturday Night

"It sounded like fireworks," residents say as at least three taken to hospital after tree collapse.

The scene of a tree collapse at 28 Maple Drive in New Hyde Park on Sept. 7, 2013. Photo credit: Geoffrey Walter
The scene of a tree collapse at 28 Maple Drive in New Hyde Park on Sept. 7, 2013. Photo credit: Geoffrey Walter

A large tree collapsed late Saturday night in New Hyde Park, ruining a large block party on Maple Drive and sending several party-goers to the hospital.

The approximately 30-ft. limb came down about 10:39 p.m. in front of 28 Maple Drive with many residents calling 911 immediately afterwards. According to eyewitness reports, the limb landed on a man and a woman on the front lawn. Many residents were in front of the house playing a beanbag tournament when they heard crackling sounds.

"It sounded like fireworks," said Maureen Donahue, who lives directly across the street.

Many of the residents then rushed over to help the man and woman, with at least 30 people being able to help lift the branch to unpin the woman and free her. A young girl was also thought to be missing but was found on the south side of the street.

"We went through the whole tree again," resident Danny Kilcullen said.

According to Park Avenue resident Jim Justice, the woman's husband was one of those that helped to lift the branch before police and rescue workers arrived. An altercation also broke out according to Justice, with several persons being led away from the scene in handcuffs.

"There was a whole bunch of yelling and screaming because they were concerned about her... and then they started getting a little crazy and they calmed him down and then more and more people kept running, it was just a mad rush of people, it got all chaotic and you couldn't see so you didn't know if they were the police, you didn't know if they were EMS; you didn't know who was who," Justice said. "Everyone was trying to help but basically everyone was getting in their own way."

One senior resident was hit with falling branches but managed to get out from under the falling limb, according to witnesses.

The tree itself did not appear to be compromised in a way that led to the collapse or the interior section revealed by the collapse to be the victim of decay or rot. It was noted that a bounce house was located near the tree, but had left the party several hours beforehand.

The Nassau County Police Department states that the following injuries occurred at the scene:

  • A 30 year old male who sustained a fractured right leg.
  • A 43 year old female with a large contusion to the right side of her face.
  • A 44 year old female with a laceration to the top of her head.
  • A 40 year old female with an abrasion to her forehead and back and shoulder pain.
  • All of the injured persons were transported to area hospitals for treatment of non life threatening injuries.
None of the victims' identities have been released by police.

This is a breaking news story. Patch will update this story as more details become available.

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