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Fallen Branch In NY Park Breaks Woman’s Neck

New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for the maintenance of some 500,000 trees just in the area of the five boroughs. If you include the trees found in city parks, that number increases by 2 million. With that many trees to cover, sometimes necessary pruning and maintenance tasks aren’t always done. Many times, the workers performing the inspections and maintenance have no experience in caring for and maintaining trees. Usually, trained arborists are only deployed to investigate after an incident or if a maintenance working suspects a problem. Needless to say, this can lead to trees or tree limbs falling both onto people and property, causing damage, death, and injury.

The West Village Patch reports on a woman who was critically injured by a falling tree branch in Washington Square Park.

At about 7:40 p.m. Monday, a woman was sitting on a park bench in Washington Square Park when a tree limb fell, striking her. According to police, she is a 55-year-old Virginia woman visiting New York City with her teenage son.

The woman was critically injured and taken to Bellevue Hospital. She suffered from a fractured skull and spine, but as of Tuesday, she was in stable condition.

A spokesperson from the Parks Department said that the tree showed signs of being infected by a fungus, which may have caused the limb to fall.

The last time the tree, identified as a London plane tree, was inspected was two years ago in July 2017. Prior to that, the tree was last inspected in November 2015. It was last pruned in August 2017.

The Parks Department said that it will be conducting further inspections of the tree.

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