NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– One person has died after a tree fell on to a car in New London on Wednesday morning.
Police say just before 10 a.m., they received multiple 911 calls reporting that a tree had fallen on to a car that was parked in a driveway at 185 Pequot Avenue.
“All of a sudden the wind was tremendous and we heard a crack,” said Eugene Gibson Jr who lives in the Pequot Avenue apartment building. He found an unconscious man in the driver’s seat of the car.
“I put my finger on his neck,” said Gibson. “I got no pulse. So at that point I knew and then I came back and was standing up under my roof and then all of a sudden I heard another scream. Help me, help me.”
Gibson then realized his neighbor was also in the crushed car which had come to the apartment complex to take his neighbor to an appointment.
“He heard my voice and he said Eugene Eugene help me and I said who is that? and he said Andrew,” explains Gibson. “I said Andrew are you hurt, can you breathe, are you safe? He said yes but I can’t move and the driver would not answer me.”
Officers and firefighters responded to the scene to find the car severely damaged and occupied by two people. Crews worked to remove the large tree from the car’s roof.
Police say the driver, later identified as 65-year-old Arthur Falconi of New London, was pronounced dead on scene. The other person was taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital for treatment but officials say their injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
The incident remains under investigation at this time by the Investigative Services Division. Police are not releasing the victim’s identities until their families are notified. We did however speak with another livery driver who said he worked with the victim for 25 years and he is devastated by what happened.
The storm wreaked havoc all along the shoreline. It knocked out power in New London while high winds brought down power lines and trees in Groton. The tops of several trees were sheared off including one which fell onto an Allen Street home and car in Groton City.
“Oooh scary. very scary branches falling out in front of me,” said Dawn Gray who lives on Pequot Avenue.
She was driving back to New London during the storm from Ledyard where the Superintendent of Schools tells News8 a micro burst blew some loose roofing materials into a car at the Gallup Hill School building site. No one was injured.
New London Public Works Crews cleared fallen branches on Pequot Avenue which had covered up cars on the street.
“The guy told me I can’t come down to my house cause the wire’s in the road. There’s water. It’s crazy,” said Gray.
Pequot Avenue reopened to traffic after noon. Other broken branches were still hanging above the street which has residents afraid the next wind storm will blow those down too.
Wednesday morning’s storm also knocked power out for thousands in the area. Eversource reported close to 5,000 power outages mostly in New London, Groton, Ledyard, and Waterford.