Tree crashes into woman's bedroom

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 2, 2012

By Nathan Hardin
CHINA GROVE — A China Grove woman said she feels lucky to be alive after a tree crashed through her roof and landed on the bed where she was sitting Friday morning.
The tree, which stood outside Jessica Hamilton’s bedroom, was struck by lightning about 9 a.m.
Hamilton said she heard a loud noise. Then her bedroom collapsed around her.
“It was like a bomb went off,” Hamilton said. “The first thing I thought was, duck my head, ya know, like an earthquake.”
Hamilton’s husband, Michael, had gone to a job interview. Her father-in-law, Floyd, who lives with the couple at 1232 Brookwood Drive, was also gone, she said.
As she looked through a soaking-wet dresser, pushing soggy insulation out of the way, she searched for her makeup Friday morning.
A full cup of coffee sat on her nightstand, a reminder of what she was doing just before the crash.
“The whole trailer park was out here,” she said of her neighbors, who came out to survey damage.
The poplar tree appeared to have exploded when the lightning struck, sending wooden projectiles in every direction. Some remained stuck in the outer walls of mobile homes. Others shattered windows.
Limbs from the poplar tree covered the ground around the area. At least six of the seven mobile homes in the community were damaged.
“Ours is the worst though, I think,” Hamilton said.
Michael Hamilton said he was on Interstate 85 on the way home when he saw the lightning strike. A few seconds later, he said, his wife called.
“She was completely hysterical,” he said. “I had to ask her three times what she was saying.”
But after learning of the situation, he said, he floored the gas pedal to get home.
“I got home in six minutes,” he said. “The only thing I was worried about was her.”
Neighbor Gene Beaver said he heard the noise and immediately checked his house.
“It knocked stuff off the walls in my house, and I’m a good 600 yards away” from where the tree stood, Beaver said.
Beaver then started looking for where the lightning struck.
“I knew something had happened somewhere,” he said. “That girl is lucky to be alive.”
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.