The couple was killed in their bed, as the tree's limbs and trunk pinned them down

By Rachel DeSantis
October 30, 2020 11:59 AM
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Tree on a house in Buford, Georgia
| Credit: Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services

A young couple in Georgia died after a tree crashed through their home on Thursday, apparent casualties of Tropical Storm Zeta’s path of destruction.

The man and woman were in bed in their home in Buford when a large hardwood tree came smashing through the roof and wall, pinning them in their bed, Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services said in a news release.

It remains unclear just when the tree fell, but the man’s brother called authorities to the scene around 12:30 p.m. after he was unable to reach the couple, and drove to their house to check on them.

When he arrived, he found the tree’s trunk and limbs on the house on W. Garner Street NW, and was unable to access the bedroom due to the damage.

“He was all distraught, freaking out,” neighbor Ahban Hanken told WSB-TV. “He asked me to call 911.”

The release said that when crews arrived, they found that the roof had collapsed over most of the house, prompting the fire department’s technical rescue team to begin recovery operations.

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Once the tree was stabilized, firefighters cut the limbs with chainsaws.

The release did not identify the couple, who died at the scene, though WSB reported that they were in their 20s.

“This is a very tragic situation for the family and the community,” the release said. “The incident demonstrates the magnitude of the powerful wind gusts during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Zeta.”

Tree falls on house in Buford
| Credit: Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services

Zeta made landfall on Wednesday as a Category 2 hurricane, but has since been downgraded to tropical storm as it continues to head inland.

As of Friday morning, at least 317,102 customers in Georgia and 226,023 in Alabama remained without power, according to PowerOutage.US.

In addition to the couple, at least three other people were killed in its wake, including a 55-year-old man in Louisiana who was electrocuted by a downed power line, an Alabama man who drowned in a marina while taking video and a Georgia man who also had a tree fall on his house.