PASSAIC, N.J. — Authorities say a falling tree branch that killed a man and injured several other people during a Mother’s Day barbecue in New Jersey was downed by strong winds, not lightning.

Witnesses had reported that lightning apparently caused the branch to fall at the Passaic home on Sunday night, as a fast-moving storm was pounding the area.

But ( ) reports that the National Weather Service didn’t find any lighting activity in the area at the time the accident occurred. Officials say the branch was probably knocked down by straight-line winds.

Meteorologist Jeffrey Tongue says the winds reached speeds up to 40 mph.

A 28-year-old man was killed and five other people were injured in the accident.

Information from: NJ Advance Media.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.