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BELLEVUE (KDKA) — A total of 10 people were hurt Monday afternoon when a huge tree was uprooted and toppled onto the softball field – near the home bench and press box – at the Northgate Middle/Senior High School complex in Bellevue.
A girl’s softball game was going on at the time. The weather was breezy, and it was sunny.
Of the injured, four of them were children and two were adults. They were treated at different hospitals. The most serious injury one of the adults suffered what paramedics described as a moderate-to-severe head injury.
Police and paramedics rushed to the scene.
“We had no idea what the extent of the injuries were or how many people were actually affected by the tree collapse, so the county MCI was activated, regional MCI at Level One was activated, which brings units from all over the county to assist us with transporting patients,” Keith Jankowski, head of the Northwest EMS, said.
The slightly elevated softball field sits adjacent to the school parking lot, and it’s surrounded on three sides by hills and hundreds of trees.
The weather has been dry for several days, but the ground is still soft from recent rains. That likely contributed to the tree falling over.
“It could have been us tonight. I have three teams coming in for practice tonight and it could have been us,” Rich Leviere, a former Northgate softball coach, said. “[It was] unfortunate for the people that were up there.”
Laura Sweeney, of Ohio Township, was shopping at a nearby supermarket when she rushed to the school.
“I just wanted to check on my friend’s kids. [Their parents] are getting out of work and just hearing about it, and the daughters are not answering their phones,” she said. “My daughter plays softball, so I can feel for them. I just wanted to check on them, and thank God, they’re OK.”
Brenda Waters’ Report:
The Northgate superintendent sent out an email Monday night urging students to avoid the softball field area on Tuesday.