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Police identify Sarah Noah as woman killed by falling tree branch in D.C. park

By meerna Jul11,2024
Police identify Sarah Noah as woman killed by falling tree branch in D.C. park

District of Columbia police have identified the woman who died Wednesday morning after a large tree branch fell in Garfield Park in southeastern Washington state.

Officers were called to Garfield Park at 7:24 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a report that a large tree had fallen on someone. Police said Thursday that 35-year-old Sarah Noah of Southeast was found pinned under a large branch and was not conscious or breathing when police arrived.

The branch was too heavy for officers to remove, the police report said, and rescuers had to use chainsaws to remove it.

According to the report, witnesses to the falling branch said they heard numerous loud pops and cracks that sent people in the park “running in all directions.”

D.C. Councilman Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) said Wednesday that the incident was a “terrible tragedy” and that Noah was likely walking her dog. Police spokesman Lee Lepe said Thursday morning that the report “does not list any other injuries or damage from the collapsed branch.” The park is often visited by children and neighbors in the area.

Crews on Wednesday dismantled the remains of a massive white swamp oak that officials with the D.C. Department of Transportation say is more than 100 years old. The agency, which has an Urban Forestry Division, said the tree was inspected less than two years ago and was found to be in good condition.

Authorities have not yet determined what caused the tree to fall. In October, before the North American Tree Climbing Championship, a group of volunteers inspected and maintained trees in Garfield Park to make sure they were safe to climb, according to Jeff Inman, a Richmond arborist who won the climbing competition. Inman said it is difficult to diagnose what caused a tree to fall or break.

Acting DDOT Director Sharon Kershbaum said in a statement Wednesday that the agency plans to re-inspect all mature trees in the park by the end of the week.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones affected by this tragic loss,” Kershbaum said.

Meagan Flynn assisted in preparing this report.

By meerna

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