Pregnant woman, unborn baby die days after tree accident

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Wendy Rodriguez has died from her injuries after a freak tree accident.

A pregnant Durham woman died Friday at Duke Hospital, following a freak accident during the weekend when a tree fell on her minivan.

Wendy Rodriguez, 30, and her unborn child died Friday of cardiac arrest.

Her boyfriend, Luis Zavala told ABC11 that on Saturday, he and Rodriguez were sitting inside their minivan outside their apartment on Trinity Avenue when high winds caused a large tree to come crashing on top of them.

"We were talking," he said. "I was singing a song to her when we started to hear the sound and when we turned, the tree was falling on top of us. The last thing that I remember was I felt the tree hit my head and everything went dark."


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Rescuers work to remove tree from van

Zavala said he was knocked unconscious, but came to when he heard Rodriguez screaming for help. He was able to make it out on his own, but Durham firefighters had to cut Rodriguez out of the van.

EMS rushed both to Duke Hospital. Zavala is still recovering from his injuries, but Rodriguez, who was 21 weeks pregnant, was determined to be brain dead and had been on life support.

"She was a woman who's a fighter, enthusiastic, a fast learner, hard worker, happy and not only will I remember her that way, but her family members and more than anything, her friends will too," Zavala said.

Zavala said Rodriguez already had four children of her own, three of which are in her home country of Honduras.

Zavala said Thursday that the families were hoping to keep her on life support long enough so the baby could be safely delivered.

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