A tourist was left seriously injured yesterday afternoon after a tree branch fell on her in New York's Central Park, the Times reports. Sharon Reese, 59, was visiting from Indiana with her husband; she was talking and conscious when the fire department responded. The Daily News reports that, in addition to head injuries, she suffered a broken arm. Authorities say the maple from which the branch fell looked healthy; a witness tells Gothamist there was a "sudden strong gust of wind" and the sound of a crack right before the branch dropped an estimated 30 to 40 feet.
Such incidents are not uncommon in Central Park: In 2009, a Google engineer suffered brain and spinal injuries after being hit by a falling branch that had been ordered removed 20 days before. That same year, another person was killed by a falling branch. The following year, a baby was killed while her mother held her after a branch fell on them both. Many think the city needs to do more to keep people safe; at least 10 lawsuits have been filed over falling branches over the past 10 years. (Read more Central Park stories.)