Two Dead, Many Injured, After Tree Falls During Illinois Fireworks Show

A community is heartbroken and officials are baffled after a bizarre tragedy struck a small town in western Illinois.

Two people have died, and several others injured, when a massive tree branch, more than 8 feet around, fell on spectators during a fireworks show this week. Rock Island County Sheriff Gerald Bustos said the branch fell from an oak tree that's believed to be about 100 years old during Tuesday night's "Red, White and Boom" event outside the courthouse in Rock Island.

Bustos also said his office is investigating the tragedy, since the wind was blowing no more than 3 mph, not strong enough "where you would expect this to happen."

Daniel Mendoza Sr., 61, of Rock Island was pronounced dead at the scene. Lawrence R. Anderson, 72, of Moline died at a hospital.

Six other people were taken to a local hospital, including a 21-year-old pregnant woman from East Moline who was near term. Officials say the woman gave birth, and thankfully she and her baby are reported to be in good health.


 

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