CHAPEL HILL: High winds topple tree, killing 1 - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

High winds topple tree, killing 1 in Chapel Hill

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William Randolph Morris. Picture courtesy of the Morris family. William Randolph Morris. Picture courtesy of the Morris family.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

One man is dead after a tree fell on top of a man in Chapel Hill Wednesday evening.

The tree fell behind a home located at 106 Roper Lane shortly before 7 p.m. as a strong line of storms moved through the area. Police say William Randolph Morris, 55, of Chapel Hill, was standing on his back deck when it happened.

Morris was pronounced dead on the scene.

Morris's family told WNCN's Bianca Spinosa that he was a retired Navy commander and the treasurer of the St. Thomas More School in Chapel Hill. He leaves behind his wife and an 11-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter.

According to WNCN Chief Meteorologist Wes Hohenstein, the top wind gust in Chapel Hill was 48 miles per hour.

"With this storm, it came up so quickly," Lt. Kevin Gunter, with Chapel Hill Police, said. "Obviously, you need to be careful of trees falling whether you're driving or walking or, in this situation, even in your own yard."

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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