Two Killed by Falling Tree in Ditmas Park

Tree collapsed on two people while they took dog for a walk.


Two people were struck and killed by a falling tree Monday night in Ditmas Park, according to the New York Police Department.

The pair was out walking a dog when the powerful winds of Hurricane Sandy blew the tree onto them, police said.

The victims of the falling tree in Ditmas Park have been identified as Jessie Streich-Kest and Jacob Vogelman, residents of the neighborhood. 

Streich-Kest's uncle, Steve Kest, released a statement on behalf of entire family, saying: "Just 24 years old, Jessie Streich-Kest left a lasting impression on all who met her, and especially on her students at Bushwick HS for Social Justice, to whom she was deeply committed. Jessie loved life and was deeply devoted to social justice."

A spokesperson for the family said Streich-Kest lived on Newkirk Avenue and was a life-long Ditmas Park resident.

Vogelman, 24, was confirmed as the second victim by Councilman Mathieu Eugene.  

Police said four trees in total on the block were knocked over.

One Ditmas Park resident who was at the scene Tuesday morning said she was outside at 8:30 p.m. Monday and saw the fallen trees, but when she called 311 to report the situation they were unable to get through. Another person on the scene told Patch they also saw the collapsed trees at 10 p.m. Monday.

First responders removed the victims from the scene at approximately 11:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Another neighbor said that despite earlier reports, all the trees were knocked over during the night, not in the morning.

Neighbor Sherry Spergel took the dog, named Max, to a nearby animal hospital where it was examined. She was told the dog might have suffered some form of head injury due to the way it was standing. But since the hospital was operating on generator power, no X-rays could be taken. Veterinarians detected no broken bones however, and were monitoring Max.

Friends of the Streich-Kest and Vogel approached Spergel on Tuesday to inquire about the dog's health and whereabouts.

A spokesperson for Streich-Kest's family said as of Tuesday evening, Max was still at the veterinarian. 


More updates to follow.

matt dougherty November 03, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Arf arf just bit two low -lifers !
Diana Barnes-Brown November 05, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Freedom of speech means you are allowed by the law to say what you choose to say, it does outlaw people's disgusted reactions. If you don't act like a person who is capable of having a productive conversation and respecting basic boundaries of decency, it should not surprise you when people fail to treat you like one. "Take my wife, please" jokes, political rants, passive-aggressive discrimination for using an minority "vernacular", and victim-blaming have no place in the world of rational discourse, much less in a comments thread where people are actively mourning. All: let's stop feeding the trolls, it's clear that rational conversation is not their goal. If we ignore them they'll go away and find some other venue in which to embarrass themselves with behavior that is in incredibly poor taste. Patch comments moderators: please do more to ban trolls from posting ad hominem attacks and wildly inappropriate/off-topic comments.
Caitlin Nolan November 05, 2012 at 03:51 PM
We appreciate everyone's comments on this story, but I'd like to remind everyone to please keep the comments clean and be sensitive to the situation and the victims' families. Comments that are profane will be deleted.
Maggie Galvin November 05, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Can off-topic, political, tasteless jokes and victim-blaming comments be deleted too?
Caitlin Nolan November 05, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I understand the desire to delete those types of comments too, Maggie -- this subject is not the place to troll or make jokes. But it is a commenter's right to say what they want without being censored, unless they are profane or otherwise violate the terms they agreed to when creating a username with Patch. That said, I'm going to repeat myself and remind everyone that this is a sensitive subject and those personally affected can read these comments, too. Please be respectful.


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