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updated: 6/9/2014 8:21 PM

Cantigny officials say tree branch collapse was 'isolated incident'

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  • A large branch fell Sunday from a tree on the east side of the McCormick Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, injuring three people and damaging a bench and a garbage can.

      A large branch fell Sunday from a tree on the east side of the McCormick Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, injuring three people and damaging a bench and a garbage can.
    courtesy of Jeff Reiter

 
 

Cantigny Park officials say the collapse of a heavy tree branch and subsequent injury of three guests Sunday was an "isolated incident" that has heightened the park's attention to the condition of trees on the property.

McCormick Foundation spokesman Phil Zepeda said crews were planning to remove the 80- to 100-foot branch from the Wheaton park either Monday or Tuesday.

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The branch fell from a bur oak tree on the east side of the McCormick Museum around 1 p.m. Sunday, according to officials. It hit three people, including two who were transported to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.

No additional information about the victims or their condition was available from Zepeda, the hospital, the Winfield Fire Department or the DuPage County Sheriff's Office.

The trunk of the tree, Zepeda said, has a circumference of about 9 feet. He said the fallen branch also damaged a bench and garbage can.

Zepeda said the future of the rest of the 300-year-old tree remains uncertain, although it may be approaching its final days. He said there are several similar trees on the property that also date back three centuries.

"It truly is an isolated incident," he said. "It just happened in the blink of an eye."

The park's horticulture department regularly reviews the health of the trees on the property and takes proactive measures to prevent accidents, Zepeda said.

"The safety of our guests is our primary priority," he said.

"They're continually checking (the trees) to ensure they are safe and not a threat," he said. "The safety of our guests is our primary priority."

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