- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 3, 2017

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - An appellate court has ruled that the family of two people killed when a large tree fell onto their car on the Garden State Parkway can’t sue the agency that operates the toll road.

The three-judge panel found the New Jersey Turnpike Authority could not have known the 80-foot hickory tree might fall.

Joel Baudouin, a 42-year-old Arlington, Massachusetts resident, and his 72-year-old mother, Marie Vernet, were killed in the accident on Christmas morning in 2008. Baudouin’s two daughters, then 13 and 8, were in the back seat and were injured.

The four were headed to the home of Baudouin’s brother in Belleville.

The tree was about 16-to-18 feet from the guardrail and crushed the front passenger section of the car, which was in a southbound center lane in Bloomfield.

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