Man standing on deck killed by falling tree in Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill police have identified the man who was killed when a tree fell on his deck Wednesday evening.
March 13, 2014 3:35:07 PM PDT
Strong storms are being blamed for one death in the Triangle Wednesday evening.

It happened around 6:45 p.m. in the 100 block of Roper Lane in Chapel Hill, just off of Interstate 40.

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Authorities said 55-year-old William Randolph "Randy" Morris was standing on his deck when a tree came crashing down on him.

When officials arrived, they found Morris on his porch, and EMS crews pronounced him dead.

Morris was an Iraq War veteran. His wife, Dr. Betty Morris, said he was a retired Navy commander.

Morris has an 11-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Thomas More, in Chapel Hill, next Tuesday.

The church released a statement, which read: "Mr. Morris was a soldier for all good causes. A veteran of the Iraq War, he returned to our school community and participated in our "Man-Up" program to be a presence in our hallways, and was active on the Home and School Association as a member at large and, most recently, as the treasurer. He was passionate about education, service, and family, and will be remembered for his ardent support of everything we do at St. Thomas More Catholic School."

Elsewhere in the Triangle, high winds snapped a pine tree in two along Creech Road and Jewel Street in Garner. The tree damaged three power lines, which left the area without electricity.

On Massey Chapel Road in Durham, the front end of a Toyota Corolla got crushed by a falling tree. Fortunately, the driver didn't appear to be injured. However, the accident blocked lanes in both directions.

In Winston-Salem, one person was killed when a large tree fell onto a vehicle during strong winds. The driver died at the scene, and a passenger suffered non-life threatening injuries.

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