Branch crashes through windshield on Branch Brook Road

A thick tree branch crashed through the windshield of a FedEx truck on Branch Brook Road the afternoon of Wednesday, May 2.

The incident happened near the St. Johns Road intersection around 12:30, said Branch Brook Road resident Sharon Nightingale, who spotted the truck with a branch through its windshield while on her way home.

“There was debris all over the road,” said Nightingale. “The driver wasn’t injured, but he had glass in his hair and he was very shaken up.”

Nightingale said she’s lived in Wilton for 30 years and the tree branches and limbs along Branch Brook Road have been “an ongoing problem.”

“We’ve all said, ‘It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed,” said Nightingale.
For about two years, Nightingale said, an X had marked the tree from which the branch fell — an indication that it was to be removed.

However, nothing was done about the tree until after Wednesday’s incident.
After checking on the driver, Nightingale wrote a letter to First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice.

Vanderslice replied the next morning and told Nightingale she would be contacting the tree warden. The tree was removed the next day, Friday, May 4.

Nightingale praised Vanderslice’s swift response, saying she “did a great job.”

Nightingale said there had been another tree marked with an X on Branch Brook Road for a while, but it fell during a recent storm, causing the street to lose power for four days.

Hazardous trees along various town roads, including Shadow Lane, Woodland Place, Drum Hill Road, Kensett Avenue and Dudley Road, have been reported on Wilton’s SeeClickFix page and many forwarded to Wilton’s tree warden, Lars Cherichetti.

“Tree warden marks trees, the town marks trees and utility company mark trees,” Cherichetti told The Bulletin.

“After they’re marked, I usually log them then the Department of Public Works goes out and takes a look at them, and they often mark them with paint in their process of scheduling the work and getting it done.”

There are “quite a few [trees] in town that need to be taken down,” said Cherichetti, who asks residents to “take a look at trees that they own and give [the town] a call when they notice something that needs to be taken care of.”