A New York City woman was killed this August in a freak accident when a tree fell into her apartment’s pool while she was swimming.
59-year-old Donna Douglas had been swimming with her friend Beth Smith at the River Terrace Apartments pool in the Bronx just after 1:30 p.m when a massive tree toppled into the pool, killing her instantly, authorities said.
“Upon arrival, officers observed a 59-year-old female and a 72-yearold female, unconscious and unresponsive with trauma about the body,” a police spokesperson said. “EMS responded and pronounced the 59-year-old female deceased at the scene, and the 72-year-old female was transported to Allen Pavilion in critical but stable condition.”
According to neighbor Jay Berg, who said she witnessed the tree falling, “We saw the tree in the pool, two women walking around dazed, and the woman who passed away, she was laying on a float, a raft, and her face was in the water.”
Prior to the tree falling, Berg said there was no wind — the tree just went.
Gabe Gonzalez, her domestic partner of 20 years, said that Douglas worked from home and that she swam in the pool every day.
Miriam Allen, a resident of the apartment complex, said the trees on the building’s property have been ravaged by Asian Horned Beetles, and when she called city authorities to complain about them, she said nothing was done.
However, the city Parks Department has said that the tree was not on public property and was the responsibility of the building owner, on the neighboring property.