A Clover couple was killed and their daughter seriously injured Friday night after a tree crashed down on an SUV traveling along a Gastonia street.
The incident happened on Stagecoach Road near Queens Road, not far from Davis Park, around 7 p.m., as thunderstorms and high winds were passing through the area.
When emergency crews arrived at the scene, they saw a large tree lying across the road, crushing a Chevrolet Equinox, said Chris Stowe, public information officer of Crowder's Mountain Fire and Rescue. Two of three people in the SUV were pinned inside.
About two dozen rescue workers arrived to help, including firefighters from Crowder’s Mountain Fire and Rescue and the Gastonia Fire Department.
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It took about 45 minutes to free the two people trapped in the vehicle, Stowe said.
The victims were identified as Reginald and Arlene Parham of Clover.
Authorities believe the accident killed Reginald Parham, 49, immediately. Arlene Parham, 60, was driving and died later at the hospital. They were husband and wife.
Their 22-year-old daughter, Tiffany Parham, was taken to a hospital with injuries described as life-threatening.
WSOC-TV is reporting the family was heading to a laundromat.
Neighbors in the area said they heard a huge gust of wind just before the accident.
“I heard a big crash. I thought it was thunder,” said Chris Sparrow.