An 11-year-old Georgia girl was killed Wednesday when the weakened Hurricane Michael sent a carport leg through the roof of her grandparents’ Seminole County home.
The Atlanta Journal-Consitution reported that Sarah Radney was left injured and helpless for several hours as rescuers were unable to reach her. At the time, Radney and her 12-year-old brother were reportedly staying with their grandparents for fall break. Their father and his other children were reportedly in Thomasville at the time.
Emergency officials told CNN that strong winds lifted the metal carport into the air before it traveled through the roof, hitting Radney in the head. The girl’s father called his daughter’s death a “freak accident,” adding that the 11-year-old was in the living room sending pictures of trees that had fallen when tragedy struck.
Radney’s grandmother was reportedly in the living room and suffered a broken rib and punctured lung. The pair had to wait eight hours for help due to treacherous road conditions, the news outlet reported.
The girl’s father told the Journal-Consitution that he called home every 30 minutes and the last thing he told Radney was to go to his grandmother’s closet and put a mattress over herself if she gets scared. The grieving father said Radney’s older brother witnessed the entire ordeal.
According to The Associated Press, the hurricane was downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 1 as entered Georgia. Despite this, the state wasn’t spared from downed trees, power outages, and damage to buildings.
The father claimed he tried to rush to his daughter’s aid but others stopped him due to the conditions outside. He said he didn’t blame rescuers for not going into the storm to save Radney.
“We knew Michael was coming, but we had no idea it was going to be like this,” he told the local newspaper. “It’s just so hard being a father two counties away while your child is dying.”
[Featured Image: Sarah Radney/GoFundMe]