Patterson Club president killed by fallen tree limb during storm in Fairfield

David L. Schmerzler

David L. Schmerzler

Facebook photo / Contributed

FAIRFIELD — David L. Schmerzler, a 54-year-old Fairfield resident who was president of The Patterson Club in Fairfield, was killed by a fallen tree limb on Sunday during the intense thunderstorms and heavy winds that affected the area.

Police found Schmerzler unconscious in the driver’s seat of his car after it was struck by the tree limb, the Connecticut Post reported. According to Fairfield Police Capt. Robert Kalamaras, the vehicle was pulling into the driveway of his Sturges Road residence around 2 p.m. Sunday when the limb fell, striking the vehicle on the driver’s side.

Schmerzler was taken to Norwalk Hospital, where he pronounced dead at 3:18 p.m. His wife, Donna Schmerzler, sustained minor injuries in the passenger seat, and his adult daughter was in the rear passenger seat.

Schmerzler was an active member of the Fairfield community, most notably as president of The Patterson Club. General Manager Matt Dossey on Monday remembered Schmerzler’s devotion to The Patterson Club, where before serving as president he sat on the executive committee, the board of directors and several other committees.

“Dave was a long-standing and valued member of The Patterson Club community,” Dossey said. “He spent many years devoting his time and passion to the club, and his presence was felt all around.”

Dossey added that The Patterson Club’s thoughts and prayers are with the Schmerzler family. “He will be missed by all of us,” Dossey said.

Schmerzler’s death was one of several incidents that affected the town during Sunday’s storm, including fallen tree branches, road closures, accidents and power outages throughout the area. A fallen tree knocked down nine telephone poles on Old Post Road, and a deck collapsed at a home on Rhode Island Avenue. Neither accident caused any serious injuries.

Fairfield experienced widespread power outages, including at Town Hall, shutting down all non-emergency town business on Monday. Utility workers resolved these issues Sunday night and Monday, and as of 4 p.m. Monday, only 22 customers remained without power, the United Illuminating Company reported.