Two killed when falling tree hits car on Merritt Parkway

Two people are dead and two children are recovering after the car they were riding in Saturday was struck by a tree on the Merritt Parkway in Westport.

Westport Assistant Fire Chief Larry Conklin said the incident happened around 9:15 p.m. Conklin said the tree fell and smashed through the windshield of the car killing both the driver and passenger.

The victims were identified as 46-year-old Joseph Stavola and 44-year-old Jean Serocke, both of Pelham, New York. Firefighters rescued the two young children who were trapped in the back seat. Conklin said the children were transported to Norwalk Hospital.

Authorities are investigating why the tree fell, but Conklin said it may have been by force of nature. ?With the rain, a little bit of wind, the heaviness of the trees and just through nature, they break."

He said it was not the first time trees have fallen onto the Merritt Parkway. A year ago a Bridgeport woman lost her life in an accident near exit 42. Conklin said the state police recently requested that the fire department remove portions of trees that have blocked lanes during rush hour.

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