Washington, D.C./ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on July 10, 2024
Fatal Accident in Southeast D.C., Woman Killed by Falling Tree Branch in Garfield ParkSource: Google Street View

A tragic incident occurred early Wednesday morning in Garfield Park, Southeast Washington when a woman was killed by a falling tree branch. DC Fire and EMS were called to the scene around 7:25 a.m., where they discovered the victim trapped under a large branch, as reported by FOX 5 DC.

According to a witness statement obtained by DC News Now, the woman was taking a stroll with her dog when the branch suddenly gave way, causing immediate and fatal injuries. The witness described the sound of the branch cracking before it fell, and, despite efforts to lift the branch off of her, it was too late. "Everybody it was immediately, who was around, everybody rushed out. Usually, most of them are dog walkers and myself....we tried to help, but we couldn’t do anything it was already too late," the witness told the outlet.

The accident has raised questions about tree health and maintenance in city parks. A city arborist informed NBC Washington that the tree in question was approximately a century old, had been pruned and inspected a year prior, in July 2022, and showed no signs of decay or disease. Riley Palgren, a local who frequently walks near the site, was taken aback by the suddenness of the tragedy. "It’s crazy to think that someone could just, all of a sudden, walking their dog, having a good day, and then – a tree. There’s no warning for that," Palgren told NBC Washington.