A Brooklyn park-goer badly hurt when a tree branch fell on him from above has died, a police source said Monday.
Jared Richardson died at Kings County Hospital at 8:38 p.m. Saturday, about 12 hours after he was rushed there from Reinald Salgado Playground near Monroe St. and Patchen Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Richardson was relaxing in the playground, named for a beloved 81st Precinct cop who died of leukemia in 1997, when a tree branch fell from about 40 feet above and hit him in the head.
“It snapped and fell and it hit him in the head,” said a 78-year-old witness who gave his name only as Lonnie. “It was pretty loud. I thought it was an accident on the street.”
A photo obtained by the Daily News shows a firefighter tending to a bloodied Richardson as he lay sprawled by a bench.
The Parks Department said the “failed limb” was from a London planetree and measured 28 inches in diameter. A Parks forestry expert found the tree to be in good condition when it was last inspected in August 2020, a Parks spokesperson said. The tree was last pruned in July 2020.
Richardson lived at a single room occupancy across from the park, police said, but the facility had no record of him staying there.
Ray Tolbert, 55, the super at the SRO, said that after the accident Parks workers pulled down at least two more branches using rope.
“We saw they were rotten,” he said of the pulled down branches. He noted there was no rain or strong winds the day the branch fell.
“That’s like getting struck by lightning,” he said of the fatal incident. “I’m scared to sit under a tree now. I keep looking up when I go into the park now.”