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Published On: Wed, May 29th, 2013

Connecticut woman killed in bizarre tree accident identified as Barbara Young

The name of the woman killed Monday afternoon when a tree fell on a group of people at Salmon River State Forest has been released.

Barbara Young, age 45, was killed, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Her daughter, Jessica Surratt, age 18, was also injured. Surratt was taken to Hartford Hospital, the agency stated in a press release.

She had a serious leg injury. Her son Kevin Surratt, 22, was not injured.

The trio were on the bank of the Salmon River Monday afternoon when the tree fell and struck the women, said Dwayne Gardner, a D.E.E.P. spokesman.

The accident happened within minutes of their arrival at the riverbank.

Nearby fishermen went to the aid of the women and called 911, Gardner said. Young was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This really is pretty tough,” said Joshua Leahy, a National Guardsman who was at the scene. He said he cried afterward.

Details of exactly what happened were unclear Monday as officials noted that heavy winds blew through sections of the state over the weekend, but authorities don’t know if they were a factor.

“We don’t have the reason yet why that tree came down,” Gardner said.

“From everything we can tell, it was just a horribly tragic, freak accident,” Gardner stated in an email Tuesday. “The people had only been there a few minutes when a tree snapped about half way up … and the upper portion fell on the mom and daughter.”

The tree, apparently an oak tree, snapped 12 feet up, he said.

Young was a paraprofessional who worked with special education students at Bacon Academy, the public high school for Colchester, said Colchester First Selectman Gregg Schuster.

Her daughter is a recent Bacon Academy graduate.

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photo Brandon Jones

photo Brandon Jones

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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