(NEW YORK) — A community in Westchester County, N.Y., is in mourning Tuesday after two boys, ages 11 and 13, were killed when a tree downed during Sandy struck the suburban house where they were hunkered down.
“It’s just a tragic, tragic accident, and it could have been anybody’s kids,” Investigator Brian Dedusevic of State Police Troop K in Somers told ABC News.
Neighborhood pals Jack Baumler, 11, and Michael Robson, 13, died Monday night when a nearly 100-foot oak tree crashed into the family room of the Baumler home, in North Salem, N.Y., Dedusevic told ABC News.
“Heaven got two all-stars too soon,” Daniel Seymour, Jack Baumler’s uncle, told the Journal News from outside his North Salem home Tuesday.
“Our faith will comfort us. North Salem has a huge heart, and this community wraps its arms around this family. We’re asking for prayers and privacy,” he said.
New York State police in Somers, N.Y. arrived at the home shortly after 7:20 p.m. Monday in North Salem and found that the massive oak had crashed into the home, striking and killing the boys.
“I believe the boys died instantly,” Dedusevic said.
The accident, which Dedusevic said he believes was likely caused by high winds and wet soil, also injured two other minors, ages 15 and 12, according to the New York State Police.
The injured 15-year-old was Michael Robson’s 15-year-old sister Caitlyn Robson, according to state police. She was treated for scrapes at the scene by responding EMS personnel, but suffered no serious injuries. She and her brother were friends from a neighboring residence, police said.
Jack Baumler’s 12-year-old brother William was at the house as well. He also survived with only minor scrapes and was treated at scene. Their mother Valerie was also home at the time but not injured, according to Dedusevic.
“A lot more of stuff could have happened with the winds and weather that we experienced. And it picked two innocent kids,” he said. “It’s very hard to swallow.”
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