Elderly woman seriously injured after tree falls on Suffolk home

SU Bennetts Way tree on home (April 26)
SU Bennetts Way tree on home (April 26)
Posted at 7:47 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 21:36:55-04

SUFFOLK, Va. - An elderly woman was seriously injured after a tree fell on her home on Burnetts Way as severe storms that passed through the area Tuesday evening.

Dispatchers received the call at 6:07 p.m., and the first unit from Suffolk Fire & Rescue arrived on scene at 6:11 p.m.

News 3 reporter Leondra Head spoke to the son of the woman who lives in the house, and he tells us he can’t get into the home because of the tree damage.

The woman’s son, Tony Tucker, says the wind was moving at a fast pace when he was outside doing some yard work while his mother, Margaret LaRoche, was inside the home alone. He says he heard a loud "popping" noise and turned around to see the tree falling on the roof.

Margaret, who's around 70 years old, is currently at Sentara Obici Hospital being treated for her injuries. She's expected to be OK.

Neighbors told News 3 they didn't hear the tree fall; they say they only heard the ambulances that came to help Margaret.

One neighbor recalls hearing a lot of commotion outside.

"The wind was going really loud, and it was really fast. I heard sirens and was like, 'What’s going on?' I went to my neighbor across the street and ran. Of course, I saw this big tree out here and was like, ‘Oh my gosh; what’s going on with the lady inside the house?' I got really scared. After this situation here, I’m going to definitely look into getting my trees removed in my backyard," Marie Reid, a neighbor, tells News 3.

Live blog: Damage reported from storms across Hampton Roads Tuesday

Another neighbor told us Margaret is like family to her.

"One of our sons called and was like, 'A tree fell on our neighbor’s house!' Our neighbor, Margaret, her husband passed away a couple of years ago, so she’s been kind of living there by herself. Her son has been down visiting," Nicole Sperry said.

"She’s kind of like family to us. She’s my brother and me’s basically grandma," Sperry's son tells us.

First responders reported that the tree caused heavy damage to the home.

On May 6, when more severe storms hit Hampton Roads, neighbors say LaRoche is out of the hospital, but has stitches and bruises. She's currently living with her daughter in the area.

Tucker says the house is a total loss and his mother has nothing. He set up a GoFundMe to raise money to help get her back on her feet. Click here if you'd like to donate.

SU Burnetts Way tree on home (April 26)

Stay with News 3 for updates.