Falling tree kills man as thunderstorms move through the Triangle

From staff reportsMarch 12, 2014 

Authorities said a man was killed by a falling tree in Chapel Hill on Wednesday night as a line of severe thunderstorms and winds moved through the Triangle.

Emergency officials said the accident happened on Roper Lane, in Durham County near Chapel Hill, about 6:30 p.m., according to meteorologist Phil Badgett of the National Weather Service.

Chapel Hill police Lt. Kevin Gunter identified the man as William Randolph Morris, 55. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Morris was standing on the residence's back deck when the tree fell, Gunter said in a news release.

Strong winds were reported in Chapel Hill and southwest Durham, Badgett said.

Weather service radar showed an intense line of rain moved from Orange County through Durham and Raleigh between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The storms were part of a cold front expected to drop overnight temperatures into the 30s and hold Thursday’s high in the 40s.

Friday morning could see readings in the 20s, but should warm up into the 50s by afternoon. The current forecast has high temperatures in the 60s for the weekend, forecasters said.


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