At approximately 6:45 PM on Friday, July 5, a 2012 grey Jeep Patriot heading west from Montauk driven by Hailey Balestra, with passenger Madison Balestra, was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic just past the Red Horse Plaza in East Hampton when a very large section of a tree on the south side of the highway came crashing down across both lanes of traffic, striking and covering most of Balestra’s vehicle.
“It was so quick, it just happened” stated Hailey Balestra. “It was extremely scary. The tree landed on us with a loud crunch.”
Eastbound traffic avoided being crushed, and cars stopped to assist the women, who managed to exit the vehicle without serious injuries. The Jeep sustained damage. Montauk Highway was closed in both directions for several hours between Cove Hollow Road and Jericho Road as police waited for the town to remove the tree.