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Mom and 3 Kids Injured by Falling Tree in Central Park, Officials Say

By  Ben Fractenberg Aidan Gardiner and Rebecca Fishbein | August 15, 2017 10:47am | Updated on August 15, 2017 2:02pm

 The stroller-pushing mom was pinned by the tree as good Samritans tried to hoist it off, witnesses said.
The stroller-pushing mom was pinned by the tree as good Samritans tried to hoist it off, witnesses said.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

COLUMBUS CIRCLE — A stroller-pushing mother and her three kids, one of whom was an infant strapped to her chest, were hurt when an elm tree toppled onto a Central Park roadway and pinned her Tuesday morning, officials and witnesses said.

The mom, 39, and her three sons — 4, 2 and about 3 months —  were injured near West 59th Street and Central Park South about 10 a.m., according to FDNY and Parks officials.

Passersby heard a "crackling noise" and looked up to see a tree "slowly going down" before racing over to help heave the fallen tree branches off the family and retrieve the kids, they said.

"We just heard a large crack and then we saw this gigantic tree go over. ... It happened very quickly," said Joseph Tomeo an officer in the NYPD's mounted unit.

"We saw a large crowd of people. We saw a lot of people running toward the tree. We knew somebody was underneath there by the way everybody was reacting," Tomeo added.

A stroller the mother had been pushing was "twisted up in branches," police said. She was initially knocked out, but later came to, they added.

"She wasn't bleeding. Her eyes were open. She was breathing. She was moving her hands, moving her legs," Tomeo said.

"[The mother] was saying, 'What happened? What happened?'" he added.

A woman biking in the park Monday morning said she saw a woman get taken away in an ambulance but that she appeared to walking on her own, Gothamist reported.

"I think she had three kids. She looked OK," said Upper West Side resident Jaki Johnsen. "She was talking when she went into the ambulance, they had to go and chainsaw her out, and they put her in the ambulance and she was talking."

Good Samaritans passed the children off to the officers when they arrived.

"All the children were alert, conscious. The infant had a couple scrapes and bruises as well, but he was crying so that was a good sign," said Officer Meghan O'Leary.

The victims were treated at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, an FDNY spokesman said.

It wasn't immediately clear why the elm tree fell.

The Central Park Conservancy, which maintains all the trees in Central Park, didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Central Park Tree
Men inspect a tree that fell on a woman and some children in Central Park Tuesday Aug. 15, 2017. (DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg)