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Difficult rescue after tree falls

Castile, N.Y. - A husband and wife are recovering Sunday night after a huge tree fell on them while walking at Letchworth State Park.

The couple was visiting from Seaford, N.Y., a town on Long Island.

The wife is being treated at Strong Hospital for possible spinal injuries. Her husband was evaluated and treated for what appeared to be minor injuries. The children accompanying the couple were not hurt according to first responders.

The family was walking through the lower falls area of Letchworth Park in an area closed to the general public when suddenly a tree fell over.

"It was 60 or 80 feet tall," said Justin James, a firefighter for the Nunda Fire Department who assisted with rescuing the couple. "She was completely camouflaged by all the branches."

James said the husband managed to free himself and tried to help free his wife shortly thereafter.

The rescue proved difficult for first responders, mostly due to the gorge location where the tree fell.

First responders had to carefully navigate down more than 100 steep steps before reaching the victims.

"The terrain is very, very treacherous," James continued. "You really have to watch your footing."

The woman trapped under the tree was eventually freed, but had to be flown via helicopter to Strong Hospital where she is listed as being in guarded condition.



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Washington Times