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Elderly woman dies after tree falls on Stafford home during severe storm


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The storm was fast and furious when it rolled through Stafford County early Monday morning and sent a tree crashing down on Cathy Tyler’s home.

Cathy and her 82-year old husband Tom were sleeping when the large oak tree fell on top of them.

Stafford County Fire and Rescue responded to an assist rescue at their residence located on Doyle Place at approximately 1:43 a.m.

Tom was injured. He tried to save Cathy, but she was pinned under the tree. She was pronounced dead on scene at 2:02 a.m.

Cathy and Tom had been together for more than 60 years.

“She would do anything for you,” said neighbor and friend Karl Braun. “That is the only woman I know that can get underneath a car and pull out a transmission and rebuild it and put it back in.”

It wasn’t Cathy’s gender that made restoring Braun’s red, ’67 Mustang unique, it was the fact Cathy was 78 years old.

Neighbors say she helped her son, who lived next door, restore classic cars.

“I couldn’t tell you on one hand the [number of] days she missed work,” said friend Gary Melvin. “They are just good people and it’s heartbreaking.”

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Said Braun, “She would do anything for you — anything."

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