Two Killed by Falling Tree in Ditmas Park

Tree collapsed on two people while they took dog for a walk.


Two people were struck and killed by a falling tree Monday night in Ditmas Park, according to the New York Police Department.

The pair was out walking a dog when the powerful winds of Hurricane Sandy blew the tree onto them, police said.

The victims of the falling tree in Ditmas Park have been identified as Jessie Streich-Kest and Jacob Vogelman, residents of the neighborhood. 

Streich-Kest's uncle, Steve Kest, released a statement on behalf of entire family, saying: "Just 24 years old, Jessie Streich-Kest left a lasting impression on all who met her, and especially on her students at Bushwick HS for Social Justice, to whom she was deeply committed. Jessie loved life and was deeply devoted to social justice."

A spokesperson for the family said Streich-Kest lived on Newkirk Avenue and was a life-long Ditmas Park resident.

Vogelman, 24, was confirmed as the second victim by Councilman Mathieu Eugene.  

Police said four trees in total on the block were knocked over.

One Ditmas Park resident who was at the scene Tuesday morning said she was outside at 8:30 p.m. Monday and saw the fallen trees, but when she called 311 to report the situation they were unable to get through. Another person on the scene told Patch they also saw the collapsed trees at 10 p.m. Monday.

First responders removed the victims from the scene at approximately 11:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Another neighbor said that despite earlier reports, all the trees were knocked over during the night, not in the morning.

Neighbor Sherry Spergel took the dog, named Max, to a nearby animal hospital where it was examined. She was told the dog might have suffered some form of head injury due to the way it was standing. But since the hospital was operating on generator power, no X-rays could be taken. Veterinarians detected no broken bones however, and were monitoring Max.

Friends of the Streich-Kest and Vogel approached Spergel on Tuesday to inquire about the dog's health and whereabouts.

A spokesperson for Streich-Kest's family said as of Tuesday evening, Max was still at the veterinarian. 


More updates to follow.

Diana Barnes-Brown October 31, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Profiles of the deceased: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/31/nyregion/hurricane-sandys-lethal-power-in-many-ways.html?hp I met Jessie and Max on Saturday and both were delightful. I am so very sorry for the family's loss.
Jay Wright October 31, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Well, as far as walking the dog in a hurricane ---- Hey, dogs have to "go" too you know. I think they were probably doing what 'needed' to be done. Jay Wright, Michigan
Diana Barnes-Brown October 31, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Wow, really? These people have been dead for less than a day and and you find it appropriate to attack their character? Really, really not the time for victim-blaming. This could have happened to any of us, given the right circumstances. Please have a little respect for the deceased.
Crystal Hagemeister October 31, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Sometimes sacrifices have to be made...that includes letting your dog do his/her thing inside!! I'm sure they were lovely people, I did not know them, like I said my heart goes out to the family. Just seems common sense may have saved a couple lives, if that meant letting your dog poop on the floor for a night, then so be it!
Maggie Galvin October 31, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Low, very low. I don't know if you live in the hood but the storm really didn't seem that bad where we live. I can see why they would think they could go out for a couple of minutes. Regardless, you need to get a grip on your need to lash out and get attention during a tragedy. What were you hoping to accomplish with that comment?
Maggie Galvin October 31, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Not to mention, the storm did not seem that bad in our hood so they could have been lulled into a false sense of safety.
Crystal Hagemeister October 31, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Only people from the hood would ask somebody else if they are from the hood! LOL. That phrase is not part of my vernacular. No need to specify where you are from...it was pretty apparent in your choice of speech. Have a nice day. I really hope the pupper-face is okay! :O)~
Maggie Galvin October 31, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Wow, you are a troll of an amazing level. And a disaster chasing one at that. Why are you here again?
Gretchen Fischer October 31, 2012 at 02:21 AM
You are not funny.
Rex Smithers October 31, 2012 at 08:31 AM
Obama watches live feed of Americans being BUTCHERED in Benghazi. Six weeks later, he tells hurricane victims "We Leave Nobody Behind". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqrJPGmBBMA DON'T BET ON IT!
anne powers October 31, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Jessie was a student of mine in 3rd grade. She was thoughtful and kind and smart. Even at 8 she reached out to other kids. It is incredible sad!,
Bkforman October 31, 2012 at 11:29 PM
And Bush and the Repubs just lead us into unwarranted wars and lead the country into economic ruin. Boy pls!!!
Steph Whittaker November 01, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Why would you write such a harsh comment??? If you were in these families shoes, would you like someone to respond that way you just did? VERY LOW of YOU!!!
Dios Thunders November 03, 2012 at 02:39 AM
house break your dog and dont stroll around in hurricane in a area especially full of old huge trees there limbs are older more brittle and break easier there roots are grown out of the grown making it easier for them to topple and break from the ground my dog didnt even want to go out he thought he did till I showed him what the outside looked like from the door & he ran back in and home and went on the paper ..,constantly...and still lesser stroms have knocked down tree's and limbs here To go out strolling with a dog can most likely be really a HUGE MISTAKE, sorry I have to say I bet they were trying videotape it and take photos with there phones to put on the web I already when I heard it said bet they had a dog with them. Shame better to play it safe and parinoid then shrug off warnings
Dios Thunders November 03, 2012 at 02:47 AM
If MITT was the president during this storm it would be KATRINA time all over again, nice he used it for a photo opp and bought a ton of food to give out problem is how will they cook it and add water lotta s instant and junk food You cant suck on rice a roni Theres tons of ready to eat meals on shleves in markets but maybe too expensive for the cheapsake he is UNLESS he personally benifits of course than price is No problem..that was a sick cheap shot condensed soup instant junk Why not produce ..fruit nutritious foods boxed milk soy milk juice and protien bars Oh that would be to expensive and the poor people he said he doesnt care about (HE SAID IT) and the 57% ers like junk food I bet he had kool aid mix and that he got a lot of the stuff Free...why not dontate a million to the red cross MITT?....yep it would be KATRINA all over again if he were president and dont think this is the last natural disaster or un natural GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL MITT. But does he care NO he cares for the money the companies that create it make him
Dios Thunders November 03, 2012 at 02:49 AM
he also lied saying a car vompany was moving over sees and god knows how many other LIES! hes a blowhard a used car salesman a theif and greedy liying creep and doesnt even know where Syria is Maybe he can see it from his roof of his house and waves like Sarah does to Russia....SICK!
Dios Thunders November 03, 2012 at 02:56 AM
they needed to and all owners need to house break and paper train there dogs Not always easy but I managed to do it to a constant peer who loved corners on anything doorway and chair legs made his leg automatically lift Now hes fully paper trained though prefers out doors but not in bad weather hes smart he wont go out side at all he'll run back in and go straight to the spot he has with newspapers. He also has to annonce it and bark proudly I think my dog has more commen sense that some people
Erin Spergel November 03, 2012 at 02:56 AM
There really is no reason for your negativity in this space. This is a place where people are mourning the loss and remembering their children and friends. What your saying is not productive and really serves no purpose....please keep you're negitivity to yourself. The situation is already heartbreaking enough without you adding you're opinion...which nobody asked for. Have a heart, their family and friends are reading this.
Maggie Galvin November 03, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I wholeheartedly agree.
Maggie Galvin November 03, 2012 at 03:14 AM
This was a great article, thank you.
maire ni ocallagh November 03, 2012 at 06:37 AM
This is a space for public comment, even if you don't agree with it.
matt dougherty November 03, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Worst president this Country has ever seen is OBAMA , Romney has to be given a chance to see what he will do ! As far as President Bush is concerned we went to war because of the twin towers PERIOD ! Wake up America let common sense prevail!
Erin Spergel November 03, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I understand that and I understand freedom of speech...all of that is fine and well, but there is no need to be cruel and unproductive in the wake of such a tragedy.
matt dougherty November 03, 2012 at 04:42 PM
What about Fido?
matt dougherty November 03, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Yes they do have to pee, but under a tree lifting their leg during a storm ? But don't go under an apple tree with anyone else but me!
matt dougherty November 03, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Arf arf just bit two low -lifers !
Diana Barnes-Brown November 05, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Freedom of speech means you are allowed by the law to say what you choose to say, it does outlaw people's disgusted reactions. If you don't act like a person who is capable of having a productive conversation and respecting basic boundaries of decency, it should not surprise you when people fail to treat you like one. "Take my wife, please" jokes, political rants, passive-aggressive discrimination for using an minority "vernacular", and victim-blaming have no place in the world of rational discourse, much less in a comments thread where people are actively mourning. All: let's stop feeding the trolls, it's clear that rational conversation is not their goal. If we ignore them they'll go away and find some other venue in which to embarrass themselves with behavior that is in incredibly poor taste. Patch comments moderators: please do more to ban trolls from posting ad hominem attacks and wildly inappropriate/off-topic comments.
Caitlin Nolan November 05, 2012 at 03:51 PM
We appreciate everyone's comments on this story, but I'd like to remind everyone to please keep the comments clean and be sensitive to the situation and the victims' families. Comments that are profane will be deleted.
Maggie Galvin November 05, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Can off-topic, political, tasteless jokes and victim-blaming comments be deleted too?
Caitlin Nolan November 05, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I understand the desire to delete those types of comments too, Maggie -- this subject is not the place to troll or make jokes. But it is a commenter's right to say what they want without being censored, unless they are profane or otherwise violate the terms they agreed to when creating a username with Patch. That said, I'm going to repeat myself and remind everyone that this is a sensitive subject and those personally affected can read these comments, too. Please be respectful.


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