Woman critically injured after tree lands on car in New Jersey

MAHWAH, New Jersey (WABC) -- A 26-year-old woman is in critical condition after a 100-foot tree fell onto her car in Mahwah Wednesday afternoon.

Police say the victim was driving a Hyundai Elantra southbound on Ramapo Valley Road (Route 202) near Bear Swamp Road when the wind knocked the tree onto the car around 3 p.m.

Mahwah Police Department

"This was a pretty devastating accident," said Lieutenant Phillip Tangel, who was one of the first to arrive on scene. "The single occupant driver of the vehicle had no clue that this tree was coming down."

Chief James Batelli said wind gusts were about 35 to 40 mph at the time of the crash.

"There were eyewitnesses who were traveling on the same road behind her, saw the tree coming down, and this poor driver had no inclination or no warning what so ever," Tangel said. "If there's any luck involved here, this girl was lucky, because the driver's compartment was the only compartment within the vehicle that had any semblance of space left in it. The rest of the interior was crushed completely."

The victim, who was trapped in the vehicle for about 20 minutes before she could be extricated, was transported to Hackensack Medical Center to be treated for head and shoulder injuries and possible internal injuries.
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