Picnicking Woman Killed, Daughter Hurt By Falling Tree

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EAST HAMPTON – 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 of Pickerel Lake Road in Colchester, was killed, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Her daughter, Jessica Surratt, 18, of the same address was injured. Surratt was taken to Hartford Hospital with a leg injury, the agency stated in a press release.

Her son Kevin Surratt, 22, was not injured.

About 1:45 p.m., the three were on the bank of the Salmon River when the tree fell and struck the women, said Dwayne Gardner, a D.E.E.P. spokesman.

Nearby fishermen went to the aid of the women and called 911, Gardner said. Young was pronounced dead at the scene. Her daughter suffered a serious leg injury, he said.

Details of exactly what happened were unclear Monday. 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.

Young worked as a paraprofessional at Bacon Academy, the public high school for Colchester, said Colchester First Selectman Gregg Schuster. Her daughter is a recent Bacon Academy graduate.

Environmental conservation police are investigating the incident, Gardner said.

Story by Don Stacom, Hartford Courant

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