A heartwarming immigrant love story turned tragic this weekend when a pregnant woman was killed after a tree fell on her in a New York City park. The woman's husband, whose family is from Bulgaria, said he is crushed after losing his wife and unborn child in the fatal accident.
The woman, whose family is from China, had been taking a stoll through Kissena Park in Queens when she decided to rest on one of the many park benches. Out of nowhere, a branch on a 50-foot tree snapped and fell on the six-months-pregnant woman, killing her and the child she was carrying.
According to the New York City parks department, the area where the 70-year-old tree stood had been inspected as recently as June 20. However, the parks department has been sued in several lawsuits in recent years after falling trees or limbs that should have been removed left people injured.
At this point, it is unclear why the tree fell, but an investigation should be conducted to determine if the tree posed a hazard. The parks department has a duty to make sure that park property is free from hazardous conditions, and if this duty is breached, legal liability can result.
Ultimately, the story serves as a tragic reminder of how fragile life is. The husband of the woman who was killed said her death still hasn't sunk in yet. He said he drives around, thinking that he is going to meet up with his pregnant wife, only to be reminded of the horrible accident that has taken place.
Source: New York Times, "Falling Tree Shatters Lives and Dreams of a Family," Sarah Maslin Nir, Aug. 5, 2013