UPPER NYACK, N.Y. — A retired teacher is dead after a tree in a suburban New York City community fell on top of his car, crushing him and the vehicle in what police say was a freak accident.

Police in Rockland County say 80-year-old Jerome Mulenberg was driving along a road near an elementary school in Upper Nyack Thursday morning when the 80-foot-tall oak tree fell on top of his car. The tree fell only a half-hour before students at Nyack Elementary School were due to arrive.

Clarkstown police Lt. Glenn Cummings says it was a freak accident. He says the tree didn’t look unhealthy and the weather was calm.

An arborist hired by the Nyack school district to inspect the tree on May 10 said it had no signs of decay.

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