Severe weather kills: falling tree lands on Columbus woman -, GA News Weather & Sports

Severe weather kills: falling tree lands on Columbus woman


A Columbus woman is dead, and emergency officials are saying it's directly related to yesterday's storm.

Heavy rains and strong winds blowing through our region caused streets to flood and trees to fall.  But in the backyard of a home on 16th Street, severe weather actually killed someone. 

Muscogee County Coroner Charles Newton said 57-year-old Barbara McWhorter died of a head injury when a branch from a large tree landed directly on top of her at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

On Thursday, contractors were fixing the roof of the house and cleaning up the deadly debris.

Mary Mitchum was walking her dog past the house when she noticed the damage and went to check on her neighbor. 

"I saw the bushes and trees down in her backyard, and that's when I saw her feet laying underneath. I went back and told my husband to call the police. When they went out there to check on her, they said she's already gone," said Mitchum.

Angie Lopez Ledesma, said McWhorter "was basically the quietest neighbor ever.  She never really talked."  

Everyone on McWhorter's street said she lived alone and was deeply devoted to taking care of her property.

"It sure was weird walking by that house today and her not being there, outside cleaning up," said Mitchum, "She didn't talk to anybody, but she was always out there cleaning."

"She used always be there, cutting her grass.  That's basically all she did every day.  Just cleaning the street and basically working on her grass," said Ledesma. 

When police arrived, McWhorter was lying face down in the ground. Emergency workers cut her out of her rain jacket to free her body from underneath the tree.  Neighbors theorize she was bringing some delicate foliage inside trying protect it from the weather.

"She was moving her plants when the storm hit and I guess the branch just fell.  She loved her plants.  I guess that's basically all she had.  She never had anyone over or anything.  I don't think she was married either," said Ledesma.

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