HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — There was heartbreak for multiple communities after deadly storms tore through Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky on Friday.
In Tennessee, at least three people died from storm-related injuries.
On Friday afternoon, 81-year-old Joan Kay Tutor from Hendersonville, known as Kay by friends and family, was fatally injured during the storms.
The pastor at Goodlettsville Church, where Tutor was an active member, said she died the way she lived — reaching out to her friends and neighbors to offer her help.
A neighbor told News 2 that when tree limbs started falling on the house across from hers, Tutor’s impulse was to go out and help them.
The neighbor said Tutor ran across her yard into theirs when a falling pine tree trapped her in a split second and ultimately killed her.
“There’s always a concern for loose limbs, large branches and failing trees. That’s always dangerous,” said Ken Weidner, director of Sumner County EMA.
Weidner said these storms hit Hendersonville especially hard after wind gusts as strong as 70 miles per hour swept through.
“When you’re dealing with a big tree, a lot of times we tend to underestimate how heavy a tree is and my opinion is to leave that to the professionals. Let them fall those trees, and get them cut off, and taken care of,” Weidner said.
The pastor said Tutor was an “exceptional lady, who was full of charm, grace, and wit.”
The loss of Tutor has impacted many. Her neighbor said all of the residents in their close-knit neighborhood are taking this sudden and tragic death hard.
The neighbor explained that the only solace her family is finding during this difficult time is knowing that her truest nature was on display when she died, wanting to help others.
“I’ve been in public safety for 42 years and I have never seen anything this widespread across the entire county. The way it came in was quite unusual for us,” Weidner said.
Tutor is survived by her husband of 62 years, three children and many grandchildren.
Those close to Tutor also said to know her was to love her. They explained Tutor will be greatly missed by all the lives she touched.