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Family mourns sudden death of Henrico woman in freak tree accident

Posted at 6:30 PM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 21:33:56-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A community is mourning the death of a Henrico woman killed by a falling tree limb.

Felicia "NeNe" Canada, 46, was killed Friday when the limb fell from a tree during a rain storm.

Canada was getting out of a car outside a family member's home on Confederate Run Court in eastern Henrico.

"I've heard the stories. I've heard of freak accidents. But I never thought a tree would be what would take my sister away," sister Chelsey Eaddy said. "I guess people need to be aware of trees. I don't know. I don't know."

Chelsey Eaddy

Chelsey Eaddy

Canada's aunt Debora Henderson said while NeNe had no children of her own, she always took care of other children in her family.

"She loved to cook. She was a wedding planner. She was a homemaker. She was a wonderful person to know," Henderson said.

"She was everything to the family, the glue that held us together," her sister Chelsea said.

An eight-year-old girl who exited the vehicle with NeNe was not seriously injured.

Leler Brown

Leler Brown

The limb fell at approximately 9 p.m. on Friday, May 5, the same day that six confirmed tornadoes struck the Commonwealth, though much earlier in the day. A strong storm system produced a wave of severe weather across Virginia that Friday morning, and there were a few more severe storms in the evening.

A neighbor said that it was raining when the limb fell.

"I mean, it was just like the sky had opened up," said aunt Leler Brown. Brown said that she reached in the car to get her umbrella and the tree limb fell.

"When I came around Felicia was laying there and the branch was down over her," she said. "I hollered and screamed for somebody to help me."

'I was there when she was born and I had to be there when she died," Brown added.

The National Weather Service confirmed six tornadoes touched down after doing field surveys:

  • EF-1 tornado in McKenney (Dinwiddie county) at 6:50 a.m.
  • EF-1 tornado in Dahlgren (King George county) at 8:19 a.m.
  • EF-1 tornado in Bledsoe Corner (Orange county) at 7:17 a.m.
  • EF-0 tornado in Moseley (Powhatan county) at 6:40 a.m.
  • EF-0 tornado east of Roanoke in Moneta at 4:04 a.m.
  • EF-0 tornado near Ivor (Southampton county) at 7:55 p.m.
  • There was also a report of a waterspout over the James River, south of Jamestown, at 8:41 p.m.

"She had a big heart. Nobody had a bad word to say about Felicia, my NeNe," Brown said.