Queens man survives close call after tree falls on his car

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N.J. Burkett reporting from Kew Gardens in Queens. (WABC)

A young father in Queens is lucky to be alive, after his car was crushed by a falling tree moments after he parked it.

Forty-eight hours later, neighbors in Kew Gardens are still marveling at it: the crumpled heap of scrap metal that was once a Hyundai Elantra.

Sean Ryan had just parked it, and walked away. Within minutes the car was crushed.

"When I came back the next day, the guy came over to me and said, 'you realize that you left the car and four minutes later the tree hit the car', and I was shocked. I had no idea it was that close," said Ryan.

An enormous branch from a 100-year old tree tumbled to the street without warning.

Even more disturbing is that it happened beneath a clear blue sky, Sunday at 3 in the afternoon.

"This is a big, big, big problem," said neighbor Sinetta Avram.

She says it was only a matter of time. There are more trees in Queens than there are in the other four boroughs combined.

And this neighborhood in Kew Gardens is loaded with them.

"The trees are not taken care of as often as they should be," said Avram.

Tuesday afternoon, city parks workers began the process of removing the tree. And a spokesman admits trimming is infrequent.

The department "aims to prune every street tree, as needed, once every ten years," he said. "We remove dead trees within 30-days of receiving a public service request."

Parks officials said the tree was healthy. It's unclear why the branch snapped.

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tree fallqueens newsKew GardensNew York City
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