CHATHAM, NJ - Preparations for the Fourth of July block party on Penn Terrace in Chatham Borough were interrupted when a large branch cracked and fell across the back yard as children and adults ran to safety on Tuesday around 8:15 p.m.
According to neighbor Don Cavanaugh, his wife, Ann, was the last person to leave the yard and was standing on the patio where the heavy branch fell as he shouted to her "Run, Ann, run."
Ann Cavanaugh was the last to make it out of the yard and got clipped on the head and knocked to the ground by the branch, which also struck the back corner of the roof of 9 Penn Terrace. No one was seriously injured.
"I'm okay," Ann Cavanaugh said as she walked away from the house holding a bandage on her head. "I think I'm okay."
Penn Terrace residents were in the backyard of the Workman's home making T-shirts and preparations for the Fourth of July block party when the tree branch started creaking.
"My neighbor heard creaking in the tree, the kids were on the trampoline," Don Cavanaugh said. "I was at this gate (leading out of the yard) and I saw him panicking and I heard the creaking.
"I knew something was going wrong so I ran back in, got the kids out of the trampoline. Everyone starting running and I turned around and my wife was still on the patio. I yelled to her and it clipped her. She would have been standing right where that broken piece is. That's the last place I saw her. It all happened in less than 10 seconds."
The Chatham Emergency Squad, Chatham Borough Police and Chatham Borough Volunteer Fire Department all responded to the call.