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Tree Branch Falls on Babysitter, Pins Her at North Side Park

By Benjamin Woodard | August 20, 2014 1:25pm | Updated on August 20, 2014 2:05pm
 A large tree branch fell onto Touhy Park playground, injuring a babysitter, officials said.
Touhy Park tree branch falls
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ROGERS PARK — A large tree branch fell and pinned a babysitter who was watching three children play Wednesday at Touhy Park playground, officials and the children's mother said.

"It's really terrible that she got hurt," said Mary Lusk, whose three kids — William, 8, Christopher, 5, and Andrew, 4 — were playing in the park when their babysitter was struck.

Lusk said she rushed to the park at 7348 N. Paulina St. when she heard what happened.

Although shaken up, her children were unharmed. But the 24-year-old babysitter suffered scrapes, cuts and a broken leg, Lusk said.

Ben Woodard says the situation could have been a lot worse:

A police officer on the scene said the woman was pulled out from under the tree branch by other officers and then taken to the hospital.

"It's just a tragic incident," he said.

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Will Knight confirmed one person was transported about noon by ambulance from the park to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.

Officer Jose Estrada, a police spokesman, said the woman was believed to have non-life-threatening injuries to her leg. She was taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition.

William Lusk said he and his brothers were playing when they heard the branch snap and crash atop their babysitter.

"She was stuck under it," he said.

A spokeswoman with the Chicago Park District didn't immediately have any information about the tree branch that fell, but a Park District forestry worker was at the scene Wednesday afternoon, inspecting the tree.

Mary Lusk said she didn't fault the Park District for the fallen branch.

"We've had a rough winter," she said. "Things like this can happen without warning."

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