2 Geneva residents killed after tree falls on pick-up truck

Staff Writer

Decatur Daily Democrat

    Two Geneva residents were killed Tuesday afternoon when a tree fell on the vehicle they were riding in on W. Line Street in Geneva.
    Martha R.B. Hilty, 36, and Norman D. McCollum, 77, were pronounced dead at the scene after "a strong storm cell" blew through the area and a gust of wind toppled a large tree across the truck, according to Geneva Marshal Rob Johnson.
    Adams County Coroner Leslie Cook said witnesses reported hearing a large gust of wind, followed by the tree sound of the tree snapping, then looking outside and seeing the tree fall on the vehicle. The victims were trapped in the cab by the huge tree.
    "It was such a team effort to get this very large, heavy tree off the vehicle," Cook said. "This is just such an incredibly tragic accident."
    Cook said a tow truck was brought in to lift tree off truck so emergency responders could extricate the victims.
    Multiple units responded, including the Geneva Town Marshals, Berne police, Geneva Fire Department, the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department Rescue Squad and the county's emergency medical services.
    The road was closed for an unknown length of time for the investigation, the extrication of the bodies and the initial cleanup by Town of Geneva personnel, using chain saws to remove tree debris from the road.