Experts say death of pregnant woman hit by falling tree in Queens park could have been prevented

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FLUSHING, QUEENS (PIX11) – A 60 foot tree remains on the very spot it fell on Sunday in Kissena Park.

The massive tree crasheddown and killing 30-year old Yingyi Li-Dikov.

A young woman’s death tragic enough, but she also six months pregnant.

Her devastated husband  collapsed in tears this afternoon, leaving flowers, stuffed animals and candles where he lost his young wife and unborn child.

“It was something that was an accident waiting to happen,” said Beverly McDermott, president of Kissena Park Civic Association.

Regulars to this park say they have complained to the city’s Parks Department for years about the condition of a number of trees in the area.

Carsten Glaeser, lives in this part of Flushing but is also an arborist.

Upon entering the park, he almost immediately spotted an issue that could one day pose a danger to the public.

“We’re looking at a severe cavity. You actually have decay…if you have a loss of a considerable loss of tree, its a problem tree,” Glaeser said.

According to Geoffrey Croft of New York City Parks Advocates and Senator Tony Avella, there are just not enough inspectors with the city’s Parks Department.

And while much of the attention has recently been placed on the city’s million tree program, which plants new trees across the boroughs, emphasis needs to instead be placed in places like this — where massive and in some cases trees more than a hundred years old still exist, but are in trouble, from either decay or damage from storms like Sandy.

“This was not an act of God. This was not a hurricane this was not a rainstorm. This is just bad tree management,” Senator Avella said.

“This is a citywide problem even in parks that are quote wonderfully well maintained like Central Park,” Croft said.

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