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Falling tree kills Queens man in his van as more than 2,000 trees fell by Isaias

A tree crushed a man to death at 143-20 84 Drive in Brairwood, Quuens. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

BY JACOB KAYE, EMILY DAVENPORT, DEAN MOSES & TODD MAISEL

A 60-year-old man who was sitting in his van has died after a tree fell on his vehicle early Tuesday afternoon in Briarwood.

Fire officials say that FDNY personnel were called to 143-20 84th Dr. at 1:04 p.m. on Aug. 4 regarding a van that was hit by a tree. The incident occurred in the midst of Tropical Storm Isaias.

Upon arriving, EMS personnel found a man stuck in the 2014 Dodge Van, according to the FDNY. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

A local resident said she believed the man was a construction worker, on the job at a nearby construction site.

“He was working on the building and he might have been eating his lunch,” the local resident said.

A tree crushed a man to death at 143-20 84 Drive in Brairwood, Queens.( Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

 

Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the death during an interview on 1010 WINS radio this afternoon, warning residents to stay indoors until at least 5 p.m. when the storm is expected to pass the city. He warned that other trees are liable to fall and cautioned residents to be on guard.

“It’s very dangerous out there from the winds, and we have a few more hours of the very high winds,” de Blasio said. “This is a big issue around the city and what happened in Queens is a sad and horrible situation – just when a person is there, then instantly they are gone. It was a very sudden situation.”

The mayor said more than 2,000 trees had fallen in the city due to the storm, damaging power lines, vehicles and killing the man in Queens. Several people were also injured, police say.

The victim has just been identified as Mario Siles
of  Madison Avenue in Manhattan.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

In one neighborhood in Bay Ridge, every street from Bay Ridge Parkway to 86th Street between Colonial Road and Ridge Boulevard were completely blocked by downed trees, limbs and live power lines.

“I haven’t seen anything like this since Hurricane Sandy,” one resident said. “It sounded like a jet airplane coming through.”

Tropical storm Isasias hit New York City, Bay Ridge lost many trees. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
Tropical storm Isasias hit New York City, Bay Ridge lost many trees. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
Tropical storm Isaias hit New York City, Bay Ridge lost many trees. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
Tropical storm Isasias hit New York City, destroying this pick-up truck in Bay Ridge. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
Tropical Storm Isasias closed the Verrazano Bridge for a while because of high winds – here the winds tore up shielding for painting job on the bridge, many tarps left flapping in wind. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Updated at 6:03 p.m.

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