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Suffern Woman Killed After Being Hit Shoveling Snow By Tree

An elderly woman was killed by a falling tree while shoveling snow.
An elderly woman was killed by a falling tree while shoveling snow. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

Police are reporting that an 88-year-old Hudson Valley resident who was clearing snow was hit and killed by a falling tree as one of the largest storms to hit the area in years moved through the area.

The incident occurred around 5 p.m. Wednesday at 61 Hillside Ave. in Suffern, while Barbara Soleskien was clearing snow and was trapped underneath the large tree as it fell, bringing power lines down within a few feet of where she was trapped, said Suffern Police Chief Clarke Osborn.

A Rockland County Department of Public Works official and two pedestrians tried to help before rescue officials arrived.

"Chief Osborn and several police officers risked their lives to try and save the woman by sliding her from under the tree with the live wires nearby," said John Lyon, director of strategic communications for Rockland County.

Osborn said that while Soleskien was being moved, a large branch broke off another tree and fell in close proximity to emergency workers, bringing down additional wires.

The severely injured woman was provided with first aid and removed from the scene with the assistance of the Suffern Fire Department, Suffern DPW, Rockland Paramedics and Ramapo Valley Ambulance Corps, Osborn said.

Soleskien was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital where she later died.

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