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Tragic Story :(

Posted by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 9:28 PM
  • 10 Replies

 (June 27) -- A New Jersey father was snapping a family photo on a sunny Saturday in New York's Central Park when a falling tree branch injured his wife and killed his infant daughter, officials said.

Police confirmed the 33-year-old mother was holding her 6-month-old daughter outside the sea lion promenade at the Central Park Zoo when a large branch fell from 30 feet above them, knocking the woman over and causing her baby to fall to the ground,
the New York Times reported.

The girl and her mother were rushed to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital, where the baby was pronounced dead and her mother was reported in critical condition.

The baby was identified as Gianna Ricciutti of Union City, N.J. Her parents were not initially identified by police but The New York Post named the mother as Karla Ricciutti and her husband, Mike Ricciutti, 41.

"The entire family is in a state of shock and they can't stop crying," relative Suzanne Fastow told The Post.

A zoo guard told the Times that the baby's father was "going crazy" and "screaming" in the aftermath of the accident. The guard said he heard a sound like a thunderclap and then saw the branch plunge.

A witness, Michelle Herson, 30, told the Post the baby girl "fell out of the mother's arms."

"The mother was covered in blood," she said. "The baby wasn't moving or crying. It happened in an instant."

A nurse visiting the park from Germany attempted CPR on Gianna, according to the Post, which said the mother underwent surgery Saturday night.

A police investigation into the accident is ongoing. The Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the zoo, expressed its condolences to Gianna's family in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family," spokesman Max Pulsinelli said.

Gianna's death is the second fatality related to falling tree branches this year alone at the park. In February, 46-year-old Elmaz Qyra was declared dead in the park's famous Literary Walk after a snow-covered branch plunged 40 feet and struck him on the head.

Last July, Google engineer Sasha Blair-Goldensohn was left in a coma after he was hit by a rotting 100-pound branch falling from 20 feet. His wife later filed a $120 million lawsuit against the city and the Central Park Conservancy, which maintains the park's trees.

After the accident that claimed Gianna's life, the Conservancy told the Post its "thoughts are with the family and we regret that we cannot comment as the investigation proceeds."

 

by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 9:28 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mhmomma
by Becky on Jun. 27, 2010 at 9:36 PM

I saw this on the news this morning.  It is very sad and tragic.

ceciliam
by Lynn on Jun. 27, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Terrible! Made me nauseous just reading this story...I can not imagine:(

The Best Is Yet To Be...BraySam Lane


meegs23
by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 10:14 PM

My BIL is friends with them. So tragic- I can't even fathom.

bhwrn1
by Brooke on Jun. 28, 2010 at 5:37 AM

So sad. I cannot imagine the pain that family is going through.

bhwrn1
by Brooke on Jun. 28, 2010 at 5:38 AM

Really? So sad.

Quoting meegs23:

My BIL is friends with them. So tragic- I can't even fathom.


Lilypie

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, REPURPOSE...

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Meditate on your own Self. Worship your Self. Respect your Self. God dwells within you as you.”  Swamni "Baba" Muktananda

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Jun. 28, 2010 at 7:01 AM

 That just made me sick reading it. That poor family!

TalaziaMae
by on Jun. 28, 2010 at 7:05 AM

I'm almost tearing up reading this.. I truely couldn't imagine what they are going through, and only hope I never have to.

LoriAnn87
by Emerald Member on Jun. 28, 2010 at 9:37 AM

sad

finallymomof3
by Bronze Member on Jun. 28, 2010 at 1:37 PM

 WOW thats just heart breaking

Habibti812
by Joni on Jun. 28, 2010 at 5:14 PM

What a freak accident! That is horribly sad and tragic. So so sooo sad.

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