Pregnant Woman Killed by Falling Tree Limb in Kissena Park
EAST FLUSHING — A Queens mom-to-be who had already picked out a name for her baby girl died Sunday evening when a falling tree snapped and crushed her in Kissena Park, cops and her widower said.
Yingyi Li, 30, who was six months pregnant, had been sitting on a bench near Kissena Lake when the 70-year-old broke about 8 feet from the ground and toppled onto her about 6:30 p.m., according to the Parks Department and the NYPD.
She was rushed to New York Hospital Queens, but could not be saved.
Li and her husband, Aleksandar Dikov, a National Guardsman, married in 2012 and were expecting a daughter, Christine, Nov. 12, Dikov said.
"She was the best for me. I don't think I can find any other girl like her. I can't believe it," Dikov, 20, said.
"Every day, she'd go to the park with me or by herself," he added. "I wish I went with her [yesterday]. I wish I could've prevented it. I blame it on myself."
The two met at a Queens YMCA in 2009, Dikov said. When he was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in Texas for medical training with the U.S. Army, Dikov and Li maintained a long-distance relationship, sending each other letters and pictures every day.
"She would do anything for me," Dikov said. "In basic training, I had tough times. But she kept me going."
Li had studied sports management at Ithaca College, Dikov said.
The area where the tree had fallen was inspected six times this year, most recently on June 20th, according to a Parks Department statement.
Investigators will pore over the fallen tree to learn why it collapsed, officials added.
The department is in the process of hiring an "independent tree consultant" to review the city's tree management procedures, officials said.
Sunday's tragedy came about a week after another woman who had been playing basketball was injured by a falling branch in East Harlem.