Fallen Tree Damages Cars, Blocks City Street

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A giant oak tree fell at the corner of Derby and Ellsworth streets Wednesday morning, landing on two cars and completely blocking traffic.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., the massive oak's roots gave way and the tree quickly toppled over, according to residents. It landed on two cars, one of which had its windshield shattered and its frame severely dented. The damaged car was parked, and nobody was hurt in the accident.

Monica Wesolowska, an area resident, said she was in her home adjacent to the tree when it fell.

"It went ‘crack,' and then there was a ‘whoosh' that lasted about five seconds, and then it was on the ground," Wesolowska said.

The tree had been sitting on a small plot of land in the front yard of a house on Derby Street, where it was held up by cables attached to the residence.

Neighbors said they were not completely surprised that the tree finally collapsed.

"It was kind of leaning over the sidewalk," Wesolowska said. "We were worried about it."

Keith Robinson, who owns the Honda Civic that the tree smashed, said he arrived on the scene shortly after the accident.

"Tree falls down, goes boom - what can you say?" Robinson said. "I heard a ‘whoosh' and that was it."

While nobody said they were shocked that the tree finally fell, neighbors said they were surprised that the tree fell on a nice day, without either a rainstorm or large gusts of wind.

"It's unusual that it would just fall over on a day like this," local resident Rick Elefant said. "One of the contributing factors is all the work done on the root zone. It just didn't have enough structural support."

As they arrived on the scene, neighbors said they were upset the neighborhood was losing one of its oldest trees.

"It was a really beautiful tree," local resident Patty Dacey said. "It's probably been here forever. But at least it didn't fall on the house."

The tree had been a source of amazement to local residents, who said they were awed by its size and astounded that a tree of its magnitude had been supported by cables on such a small piece of lawn.

"It's a beautiful old tree and they wanted to keep it as long as possible," Elefant said. "It's a tree that's been in this neighborhood for a long time - but not any longer."

Derby Street was closed to traffic between Ellsworth and Fulton streets for several hours Wednesday morning.


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