SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – A community is mourning after what has been described as a “freak accident” in Southwick on Friday. An infant was killed after a tree came crashing down on a car while driving on Route 57 late that morning. Now, efforts are underway to support the grieving families.

The arctic blast that swept through New England Friday and Saturday brought dangerously cold temperatures and wind, these elements leading to a devastating, deadly accident.

It was on Route 57 in Southwick where a tree fell on a car on Friday afternoon and tragically killed the infant inside. According to the Hampden County DA’s office, the driver is a 23-year-old woman from Winsted, Connecticut, who survived the accident and was brought to Baystate Medical Center with serious injuries. The infant that died in the accident was the woman’s niece.

22News spoke with community members about the dangers of storm debris, particularly tree damage.

“I live about two miles away and we travel that road often ourselves,” said Peter Sienkiewicz of Westfield. “You have to be careful of trees, there’s trees everywhere and really, who knows the conditions of the trees or the strength of the trees.”

Adam Roberts, President of Allied Tree Services, Inc. in Southwick says this incident couldn’t have been predicted, “I did take a look at the tree, the tree does appear to be healthy. Unfortunately, I don’t think there was a lot anyone could’ve done in that situation.”

There are general signs of an unhealthy tree to be aware of in the event of severe weather.

“Look for cracks or decay, cavities in the tree. If they notice woodpeckers going after the tree or bugs. Generally some things like that will be noticeable,” said Roberts.

Though nothing could’ve prevented this unthinkable tragedy, in its aftermath, the community is offering support. A GoFundMe has been created with a goal of raising $20,000 for the impacted families.