A mother toting an infant in a carrier and pushing a double stroller carrying two other kids was briefly knocked unconscious by a huge tree that suddenly fell in Central Park Tuesday morning, according to police officials and witnesses.
She and her three young sons, who were crying but appeared to be mostly unharmed, were taken to the hospital after the 10 a.m. accident near 62nd Street and West Drive, officials and witnesses said. The boys are 2 and 4 years old, and the infant is about 2 to 3 months old; all are expected to be OK, though fire officials at the scene say the mother was in critical condition.
She had been pinned under the tree for up to 10 minutes and was still going in and out of consciousness when she was taken to the hospital, fire officials said. Authorities say she also tried to shield her children from the impact.
A man who witnessed the situation said the woman was pushing a double stroller and had the third child strapped to her body when the tree fell. He said the mother was briefly knocked out, then regained consciousness and immediately asked about her children. The kids were pulled out from under branches; they were crying, but otherwise appeared to be OK, the witness said.
Parks officials confirmed they were mobilizing crews to clear debris. It's not clear why the tree fell. They said they are continuing to investigate. Video from the scene shows a large tree across the road as emergency crews try to redirect pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
Patchy storms moved through parts of the tri-state earlier in the day Tuesday, but there was no significant wind or rain at the time of the reported accident.