NJ Woman Killed by Falling Tree Branch in Philly

Freak accident claims jogger's life

By Vince Lattanzio and Dan Stamm
|  Thursday, Aug 6, 2009  |  Updated 12:33 PM EDT
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Her ipod Was Still Playing

NBCPhiladelphia.com

The branch was almost a tree itself at 30-feet in length.

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Her ipod Was Still Playing

Investigators are trying to identify the woman jogger crushed to death by a heavy tree branch in Fairmount Park.
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A jogger probably didn't know what hit her when a 30-foot long tree branch fell and killed her as she was running in a Philadelphia park Wednesday night. She was wearing an iPod, which was still playing, when her body was found, police said.

Police believe she may not have heard the branch breaking because of the music.

The woman was identified as 23-year-old Mary Kathryn Ladany. She was originally from North Jersey but currently lived and worked in Philadelphia. She was a graduate of Bucknell University, the school confirmed.

Ladany, called "Katie" by family and friends, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

She was crushed by the heavy branch, which fell 50-feet onto a trail near Forbidden Drive in Fairmount Park. The recent wild weather may have weakened the branch, authorities said.

"She has head injuries, what appears to be a broken neck and a compound fracture of her right leg," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Investigators originally didn't know who she was because she had no form of identification on her when the accident happened. She was eventually identified because of the t-shirt she was wearing at the time of the accident. 

The freak accident disturbed other people exercising in the park. "It could have been me," biker Danielle Tansits admitted. "It's upsetting and scary."

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