Tree Branch Crashes Down on Truck in West Haven

A close call in West Haven has the city stepping up to prevent something worse.

Photos show the aftermath after a tree limb fell onto a vehicle just seconds after a driver parked on Third Avenue.

That driver said he was still sitting in the truck, and while no one was hurt, he contacted city officials.

West Haven Commissioner of Public Works Tom McCarthy said what happened was a bit of a shock.

“A three-inch diameter branch about 12-15 feet long came off the tree during the high winds, not unexpected, the fact that there was a truck under it is what was the shock,” he said.

McCarthy said residents concerned about rotting city-owned trees by their homes should call his department.

Less than 24 hours after that close call on New Year’s Day, the city’s tree contractor had already cut down the dead tree that dropped the branch, and the tree next to it.

A neighbor said she had a dying tree removed from the sidewalk in front of her home in August.

“It does not surprise me given the state of these trees on this street as you can see there used to be trees up and down the block,” Victoria Bernardo said.

She said she called several times before the city removed her tree.

The owner of the damaged truck thanked the city on Facebook for its quick response. He said within an hour of sending photos of the aftermath and damage to City Hall, he got a response that they’d send something for an inspection.

“We are responsible for proven damage he will make a claim through PMA, our insurance carrier, to be reviewed by corporation counsel and should he meet the criteria it will then be paid out by the city,” explained West Haven Commissioner of Public Works Tom McCarthy.

After NBC Connecticut took the concerns of another neighbor to city officials, a tree contractor returned to Third Avenue Wednesday to inspect another tree. That tree was alive, so it will be up to the West Haven tree warden to decide whether it comes down.

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