By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
A London woman remains hospitalized in a Lexington hospital after a tree crashed atop the car in which she was a passenger on Monday afternoon.
Keavy Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ronnie Bales said Butler and Norma Sizemore were driving along Rachael Road in southern Laurel County around 4 p.m. as heavy thunderstorms moved through the area when the tree fell onto their vehicle.
“They were just driving through when the tree fell. It was a great big tree,” Bales said. “There was another one on electric lines real close by. That tree actually was across a power line.”
Butler Sizemore, 81, allegedly saw the tree falling in front of him, and began backing up. But strong winds and storms sent the tree falling across Sizemore’s Toyota Prius, pinning his passenger, 79-year-old Norma Sizemore, inside.
Sizemore’s son, Stan, said his mother suffered a spinal injury with multiple fractures but was “alert and oriented” early Tuesday afternoon, and that her injuries were “not life-threatening at this point.” He added his mother seemed to be in “fair” condition, although she remains listed as critical at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.
Bales said approximately 10 firefighters with the Keavy Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene, along with members from the London-Laurel County Rescue Squad and paramedics with Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County, as well as Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Parrott. Bales said the Jaws of Life were required to pop open the passenger side door to free Norma Sizemore from the vehicle.
“We had to lift the tree up and get in so we could get her out,” Bales said. “The driver was out walking around afterwards and wasn’t hurt.”
A press release from the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office states that both persons were transported to Saint Joseph London for possible injuries from the accident.
Rachel Road is located just off Level Green Road in the Keavy community, where Monday afternoon storms hit with a vengeance, downing power lines and leaving an estimated 1,400 businesses and residences without power.
“Strong winds from the storm leveled several large trees, as well as leaving behind broken tree limbs that fell into power lines,” said Karen Combs, public relations director for Jackson Energy. “Several electric lines were also impacted that lighting that also caused power outages.”
Trees limbs and small branches were scattered over numerous roadways throughout the county after the storm moved through, resulting in power outages in other areas of the county as well as other areas in the Jackson Energy service area. Heavy thunderstorms are predicted throughout the remainder of the week, with temperatures reaching into the high 70s and low 80s.