Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dead trees along park trails pose hazard

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
Investigations Editor

A Colchester woman went with her family to the Salmon River State Forest in May to have a picnic while enjoying the natural beauty there, with picturesque views of the river and fragrant flowers.

Instead, a large oak tree fell, killing Barbara Young, 45, who died at the scene, and seriously injuring her daughter, Jessica Surratt, 18. Young’s son, Kevin Surratt, 22, escaped unharmed.

The tree had been alive, but it was infested with carpenter ants and was rotting on one side, according to a state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection environmental conservation police report on the accident.

The incident calls into question how well the state is inspecting and maintaining the trees in the state’s parks, where thousands of visitors go annually to hike, swim and enjoy the scenery.

Read more here.

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