Amid Firework Booms, 'an Ungodly Sound'

Falling tree limb kills 2, injures 5 in Illinois
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2018 9:25 AM CDT
Amid Firework Booms, 'an Ungodly Sound'
People watch fireworks Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Two men out celebrating the Fourth of July in Rock Island, Ill., didn't get to see it dawn. Daniel Mendoza, 61, and Lawrence Anderson, 72, died of "multiple traumatic crushing injuries" late Tuesday after a massive tree limb fell on the pair during a fireworks show at the local courthouse, reports the Quad-City Times. A witness who was standing 20 feet away from the 100-year-old oak tree described "an ungodly sound" amid the crackle of fireworks, followed by a rush of air as the limb came down, sending five others to hospitals, per WLS. Among them: 21-year-old Kathy Carter, who was nine months pregnant.

She gave birth via emergency C-section early Wednesday, naming her daughter Kamaree Kathleen Lawrence in honor of Anderson, report WQAD and KWQC's Shelby Shepherd. Police say both mother and infant are in good health, while all other injured parties have been released from the hospital after treatment for cuts, bruises, and possible concussions, per ABC News. They're lucky. "It was everything I could do to hold that limb up. It was a monster," says the aforementioned witness, one of many bystanders who rushed to help the men trapped beneath. Indeed, police say the limb was 8 feet wide at its base, and more than 45 feet long. It fell about 25 feet. (Read more Fourth of July stories.)

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