Falling trees blamed for 2 NJ deaths

February 12, 2009 8:38:36 PM PST
A tree fell onto a car in a freak accident on Route 22 in Mountainside that killed one person Thursday. Then, a woman walking down the street in Newark was killed by another tree.

In the first incident, the tree fell into the westbound lanes, near Robin Hood Lane, just before 6:30 a.m.

Police said Maureen Carse was driving to work when a tree snapped, crashed through her car's windshield and impaled the 61-year-old. She was pronounced dead on Route 22.

The crash closed the westbound lanes, although traffic was permitted to get by on the shoulder.

In the second incident, 61-year-old Newark resident Norka Leon Collazo. was walking from the supermarket when she was struck by a larch falling tree branch at Mount Prospect and 2nd Avenue. She suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wind gusts are also blamed for knocking out electricity to nearly 21,000 customers in New Jersey.

Jersey Central Power & Light says about 14,000 customers lost service, mainly because the winds have snapped trees, which have downed power lines. Public Service Electric & Gas says about 4,800 customers lost electricity, while about 1,850 Atlantic City Electric customers dealt with outages.


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