At approximately 6:45 PM on Friday, July 5, a 2012 gray Jeep Patriot heading west from Montauk driven by Hailey Balestra, with passenger Madison Balestra, was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic just west of the Red Horse Plaza in East Hampton when a large limb 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 the driver. “It was extremely scary. The tree landed on us with a loud crunch.”
Eastbound vehicles avoided incident, and other drivers 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 for crews to remove the tree.