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78-year-old man dies after tree crushes car during deadly storm

A 78-year-old man died during a heavy storm Tuesday when a falling tree crashed onto his car. The incident took place about 18 miles south of Atlanta in Jonesboro.

A 78-year-old man was killed after a falling tree crashed onto his moving car during a wet and windy morning on Tuesday, according to police.

The senior, identified by local reports as Herbert Lee Williams, was driving his white Mercedes-Benz eastbound on Highway 54 in Clayton County in Georgia just before 10 a.m. when a large tree blew over and onto his vehicle, the Clayton County Police Department said in a statement. The incident took place about 18 miles south of Atlanta in Jonesboro.

Police said when they arrived on the scene, they found the tree lying across the front windshield of the four-door sedan with Williams inside. 


A photo released by the Clayton County Police Department shows the middle section of the car pulverized by the tree while the front of the Mercedes is facing upwards at an angle. 

Williams was declared dead at the scene by Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services. He was the only person traveling in the Mercedes, police said. 

The tragedy came on a morning when a powerful system struck the metro Atlanta area with severe weather causing tremendous damage and treacherous road conditions. The storm also slammed into the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, causing coastal flooding, damaging winds and torrential rainfall


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp commented on the deadly incident at an event in Gwinnett County on Tuesday afternoon.

"It’s been a rough day, folks," he said, according to WSB-TV Channel 2.

"It was just reported that there was a loss of life in Clayton County from a tree falling, so I just want to keep all those folks in our thoughts and prayers and that family."

One resident, Rickey Hayes, told Fox5 Atlanta that he was shocked to learn of the news of the incident and the driver's passing, never thinking something like that would happen so close to home.

"I don't know if I worry about it. Never thought of it," Hayes said. "I travel that road. That's my only road, so I travel it all the time."

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