Man Dies Days After Tree Falls on Van

A man dies a few days after a tree falls on his van, and neighbors say they’ve complained about the tree’s poor conditions

By Aixa Velez
|  Friday, Apr 9, 2010  |  Updated 5:00 PM CDT
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A 33-year-old man dies two days after a rotted tree fell on his van on the Northwest Side.

Jerzy Szczepanek of 360 Oak St. in Des Plaines died Friday morning at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, reported the Chicago Sun Times.

The tree fell on Szczepanek’s white van while he was at the 3600 block of North Cumberland Avenue, according to police.

The man appeared to be dead when he arrived at the hospital Wednesday morning, but doctors were able to revive him.

One neighbor, Kenneth Stoppa, of the 3700 block of North Cumberland, said he and his neighbors “always call” Cook County authorities to complain that the trees aren’t properly maintained.

“There’s 15 other trees ready to fall over. They are monstrosities, there are major limbs that fall all the time,’’ Stoppa said.

Cook County Forest Preserve spokesman Steve Mayberry disputed Stoppa's claims and said their office “never received a single call’’ regarding trees in that area, including the tree that fell onto the van.

“If there are other trees there, the individual should call 1-800-870-3666,’’ said Mayberry.
 
Szczepanek’s autopsy is scheduled for Saturday, the medical examiner’s office said.

Police are still investigating.

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