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Man struck, killed by falling tree branch in popular Toronto park

Tree branch falls off tree, kills man in Trinity Bellwoods Park
WATCH ABOVE: A male victim in this 30s was shielding his wife from a falling branch when he was hit in the head and killed according to Toronto Police. Peter Kim reports.

A man has been declared dead after sustaining injuries from a falling tree branch in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Police say the man was sitting under the tree with his wife when the branch fell. He was shielding his wife when he was fatally struck.

“From the information we heard from witnesses, the male threw himself over his wife as the branch came down and it struck him in the head and killed [him],” said Sgt. Scott Villers, Toronto Police Service.

“At this time, the wife is at hospital receiving treatment, obviously very upset by what’s happened.”

Police say the man was in his 30s; he and his wife are both from France, in Canada on a work permits.

The incident happened around 7:15 p.m. Witnesses told Global News’ Peter Kim that the couple was enjoying a picnic when the branch fell.

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People gathered around to try and help the man, who a witness said was unconscious, his face bruised. Despite attempts to revive the man he was declared dead at the scene.

Villers said he’s never seen anything like this in his 16 years with Toronto police. He called it one of the “once in a lifetime things that we see.”

Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff at the site said the tree appears to be healthy, but they have not yet completed their investigation.

The tree branch that struck and killed a man in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park on June 17, 2016.
The tree branch that struck and killed a man in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park on June 17, 2016. Peter Kim / Global News

The park is popular spot in the Queen West area, often filled with hundreds of people. A music festival was going on in the park at the time; social media feeds quickly filled with photos from the scene and messages of disbelief.

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With files Global News’ Peter Kim