Woman, child seriously injured by falling tree in Central Park

A large tree fell in Central Park Tuesday morning, seriously injuring a woman and one of her three children. The tree fell on the west side of the park near Columbus Circle.

A witness said the elm tree came down on the victims, including two that were in a double-wide stroller, as they were walking. The third child was strapped to the woman in a chest carrier. They were trapped under the branches but bystanders quickly pulled them out. That area of the park is normally very busy.

Two of the children were crying after the incident but were not seriously injured. The woman suffered a fractured spine and faces a long road to recovery. Her one child also suffered a head injury.

A woman who was running in the park heard a cracking sound and then saw the tree come crashing down. Tammy Jones said she didn't even know that a baby was in the stroller until they reached the tree and helped get the baby out.

Jones said that the children who were trapped were 1, 3, and 4. EMS took all of them to a hospital.

An NYPD mounted patrol was traveling to an assignment when they heard the tree break and were on the scene almost immediately.

The NYPD told drivers to avoid the area where the tree blocked the park drive. By evening, crews had chopped up and removed the tree. All that remains is the massive uprooted stump.

A spokesperson for the Parks Department said the staff is investigating what happened.

The Central Park Conservancy, the nonprofit that manages the park, has highly trained tree inspectors.