From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
It’s an incident officials are calling a tragic accident after a massive tree falls in Hanahan killing a man inside his home. It was a young neighbor who helped William Klein during the tragic event while the debris, which eventually caused his death, covered him from the wasted down.
It was massive willow oak tree estimated to weigh a about of 10-tons that smashed into 72-year old William Klein's house.
Responders say Klein was sitting in a chair in an upstairs den when the tree fell pinning him between the first floor and the upstairs ceiling. He was transported to Trident Medical Center where the Berkeley County Coroner said Klein was pronounced dead.
In the hours before that as crews worked to safely stabilize the area and remove Klein, those on scene say he was communicating and he told them his legs were broken below the knee. Another person who tried to calm him down was the daughter of his next door neighbor her mother, Kim Davidson spoke on her behalf.
“She kept him very calm and asked him immediately if she could pray with him and the last thing I heard her say to him was ‘oh you were in the Navy for three years?’, she was trying to keep in calm. He was in pain I mean it was like somebody-- get me out of here.”
Responders and witnesses say it took a couple hours to get the area inside the home stable enough to get crews inside the home to remove Klein.
It’s believed the recent heavy rains over the weekend caused the soil under the oak to weaken and topple the tree.
Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.