Tree crushes, kills woman in bed

May 17, 2010 8:44:55 PM PDT
One person was killed and three were injured when a tree fell on a Wake County home, southeast of Raleigh, Sunday evening.

It happened just before 6 p.m. on Rock Quarry Road. Winds were reported in the area at the time the tree fell but authorities say the tree was already weakened from a previous incident.

When EMS and firefighters arrived at the home, they worked quickly to locate a woman who was believed to be trapped under a tree in her bedroom.

"It was very catastrophic in the damage," explained Jeffrey Hammerstein, Wake County EMS district chief. "We understand there were three people in the house at the time. Two of those people were okay and were transported to WakeMed with very minor injuries."

Wayne and Keyona Vick were treated and released from the hospital.

However, when they located 32-year-old Sabrina Allen of Middlesex, it was too late.

Allen's sister, Stephanie Smith, says her sister was visiting her cousin's home and was sleeping inside when the huge oak tree fell on the home.

"It's very hard to know that I got to go on without her," Smith said. "I just can't believe she's gone."

Smith says her brother ran inside to try to rescue Allen, but it was too late.

"He actually skinned up his knuckles trying to pull her, but he saw there was no way possible that he could move the tree," she said.

Allen was a certified nursing assistant. She has a 6-year-old daughter, Samari, who now has to learn to live without her mother.

"She still asks for her mama," Smith said. "She wants to see her mom. She thinks that her mom is coming back and I've been trying to talk to her, let her know that she's not coming back, but you do have love and support from me, my mom and my other sister."

Officials say the tree that fell on the home was weak before Sunday's storm.

With the tree that fell over, part of it had fallen over earlier," Hammerstein said. "I'm not sure when that was but [on] a previous date, part of that tree had gone down and this was the other part of that tree."

The City/County Bureau of Investigation and the Wake County Sheriff's Office are investigating.

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