2 dead, 5 injured after Rock Island Courthouse tree branch falls
UPDATE 7/4: The Rock Island County Sheriff's Office confirms Wednesday morning two people were killed when a large tree banch fell during Red White and Boom Tuesday night in Rock Island.
The two people who were killed in the accident are Daniel Mendoza, aged 61 of Rock Island and Lawrence Anderson, aged 72 of Moline. Five others were hurt including a pregnant woman who later gave birth at a local hospital. Bustos says mom and baby are doing well.
The Rock Island coroner will be conducting autopsies today.
Bustos says the tree was about 100 years old. It had a circumference of eight feet and two inches at the base. The branch was 45 feet long and fell 25 feet to the ground. Bustos says he believes the tree to be in good health, but they would be taking a closer look as the investigation continues.
ORIGINAL 7/3: Red White and Boom turned deadly and dangerous for those sitting by the Rock Island County Courthouse for the Independence Day festivities.
Towards the end of the Fireworks show, a large tree branch fell, killing one and injuring five others. With Rock Island Police already in the area, there was a quick emergency personell response to the area, including Sheriff Bustos who confirmed the death and injuries with TV-6.
Witnesses on scene stated that individuals had been sitting on the lawn of the courthouse, beneath the tree branch, to watch Red White and Boom. Witnesses then heard loud cracking and loud screaming.
Witnesses did see a white sheet placed at the end of one of the trees which was still in place as TV-6 arrived on the scene. The Centennial bridge was blocked from through traffic as the scene developed and was cleared. One witness had to abandon her car because it was stuck in the middle of the scene.
What caused the tree branch to fall has not been determined.