Indescribable tragedy hit Putnam Valley last Friday when a local boy died from a downed tree that crashed into his house.
During a late winter storm that brought winds upward of 50-60 miles per hour, a large tree collapsed and killed 11-year- old Carmelo Singleton inside his home, according to the Putnam County Sheriff ’s Office. Sheriff ’s deputy Charlie Johnson responded to 33 Dunderberg Road where the incident took place after he received a report of someone trapped under a fallen tree, the sheriff ’s office stated.
When Johnson arrived, he saw a large tree had fallen onto the home, trapping Singleton underneath. Deputy Johnson attempted to rescue Singleton but was unable to reach him, according to the sheriff ’s office.
Another deputy arrived on the scene, along with Putnam Valley Fire Department members, and helped in the rescue of the boy, who was home with his mother. EMStar paramedics pronounced the boy dead at the scene at about 12:50 p.m. His mother was taken to a nearby hospital.
Singleton was home after the Putnam Valley school system closed all schools Friday because of the threatening weather, which included a forecast of snow.
Singleton attended Putnam Valley Middle School. According to his obituary, he loved playing PlayStation and leaves behind his mother, Arin Travis, and younger brother, Chase, as well as many other relatives.
Sheriff Robert Langley called the death a loss for the entire county.
“Situations like this, there are no words to describe that loss,” Langley said. “Our thoughts are with the family.”
Even though Putnam Valley schools were closed again Monday as the county continued to recover from the brutal nor’easter, a special grief sharing session for staff, parents and students was held at the high school. Snacks, coloring activities, and therapy dogs were provided and counselors were on hand for those seeking help.
Putnam Valley Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fran Wills said the community would help each other through these challenges and mourn the tragic loss together.
“We want to share our grief with his family. This terrible event shakes our sense of well-being and reminds us of the precious lives of our children and our vulnerability to forces of nature that are unfathomable,” Wills said in a letter to the school community. “It is very difficult to accept that this awful event has taken the life of a beautiful, innocent little boy.”
A fundraising page on GoFundMe has been started to help pay for Singleton’s funeral costs. The goal of the fundraiser was raise $12,000. In one day, more than $28,000 has been raised by more than 500 people.
To make a donation go to https://www. gofundme.com/tuxsw-funeral-expenses.