A 3-year-old Philadelphia girl is dead after violent storms Monday night caused a tree to uproot and fall through the roof of a mobile home where she and her family were living.
Loudon County E-911 Director Jennifer Estes said emergency personnel were called at 8:35 p.m. to 23003 Stockton Valley Road in Philadelphia.
While on the scene, authorities found 3-year-old Natalie Alvarez pinned underneath a tree, Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider said. Others in the house included her mother, father and 8-year-old brother. Alvarez’s 16-year-old brother was not at the residence at the time.
“Lifesaving efforts were tended from the haul to the hospital to Sweetwater Hospital, where I think the efforts were exhausted,” Guider said.
Guider said Alvarez was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Neighbor David Richesin said he was visiting his parent’s house when Mirta Alvarez, the girl’s mother, informed him about the incident. Richesin then went to get his tractor to remove the fallen tree far enough for emergency personnel to get to the girl, he said.
“It’s the worst storm I’ve ever experienced,” Richesin said. “Just horrific winds. Jeff Moore that lives right next door said that it sounded like a train. It was extremely violent with twisted winds, and he was alerted hearing broken glass and tree branches breaking. He knew it was really bad as well.
“He heard screaming, and he knew there was something bad, and she come over, and I, of course, heard her and met her at the door and just rushed to get the tractor to help them,” Richesin said.
Moore, who lives beside the Alvarez residence, said the storm sounded like a train as it made its way to the mobile home.
“Just started raining and blowing wind this way, and it sounded like a train come across the field right there,” Moore said. “It started tearing trees down.”
Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, Loudon County Fire and Rescue, Philadelphia Fire Department, Priority Ambulance and Monroe County emergency personnel responded to the scene, Estes said.
Natalie’s family includes Mirta, father Hosea, 8-year-old brother Chris, and 16-year-old brother Rolando.
Becky Richesin, David’s wife, said Natalie would have been 4 years old this month. A memorial fund has been set up at BB&T Bank in Loudon to help the family pay for funeral costs and a new home, she said.
Those who would like to donate may make checks payable to Mirta Garcia and send in care of David or Becky Richesin, 25025 Stockton Valley Road, Philadelphia, TN 37846.
“The family is in great need of assistance to cover funeral expenses and a home to live in,” Becky Richesin said.