Falling tree limb injures 4 at block party

David Cushman, who lives on Maple Drive in David Cushman, who lives on Maple Drive in New Hyde Park and was one of the organizers of a block party held Saturday night, walks past the debris from a tree limb that fell and injured four people during the party. (Sept. 8, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

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Residents of a North New Hyde Park community where four people were struck and injured by a falling tree limb at a weekend block party said Sunday they fear others may come down.

"We've had a lot of problems with trees since before superstorm Sandy," said Kathleen Campon, 35, who lives on Maple Drive, where the large limb fell Saturday night as the party wound down. Trees are "pretty to look at, but they're old and cause a hazard," Campon said.

Since Sandy, Campon said, there is a heightened community fear of falling trees. "We're more nervous and cautious because there are a lot of people and cars. It could be a huge risk."

There were about 500 people at the height of the party, host David Cushman said.

Cushman, who moved to 28 Maple Dr. two years ago, said he has complained to officials for six months about the possibility of his tree falling. The limb fell from a neighbor's tree.

"This town doesn't take things seriously," Cushman, 34, said of his complaints.

He said North Hempstead town officials did inspect his tree, but informed him to either pay for the removal himself or have the tree put on a removal waiting list with 7,000 others.

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The homeowner whose tree the limb fell from did not answer the door.

Nassau County police said a man and three women who were at the party were hit by the tree limb when it fell shortly after 10:30 p.m.

The man, 30, suffered a fractured right leg; one woman, 43, was bruised on the right side of her face; a second woman, 44, had head cuts; and the third, 40, had a scraped forehead and reported pains to her back and shoulder.

All four were taken to hospitals for treatment of injuries that police said were not life-threatening.

More than 20 of the 28 homeowners on the block paid $55 for the party, which had a DJ, face painting and a dunk tank, Cushman said.

With Jennifer Barrios

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