The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

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September 13, 2008

Elkins Lake resident killed when tree hits home

Wind damage due to the high winds of Hurricane Ike claimed the life of a Huntsville woman early Saturday morning.

According to Huntsville Police, at approximately 5:30 a.m. a large tree was toppled over by heavy winds and crashed into a home in the 1900 block of East Lake Drive in the Elkins Lake neighborhood just outside of Huntsville.

The tree crashed through the roof and landed in a bedroom of the home, where it fell on 66 year old Saundra Lee Tykol, killing her instantly.

"This was a massive, massive tree," said Sgt. Ron Clere of the Huntsville Police Department. "It came down fast, and she was asleep. I doubt she felt anything."

The large oak tree was one of many broken and felled by wind damage Saturday as gusts from Ike reached near hurricane force.

"There was a large amount of damage to the home," Clere said. "We've seen a lot of fallen trees in the past 12 hours, but that was by far the biggest."

The death was reported by Tykol's husband, who was also in the home as the tree fell. According to police, he was unharmed, but it was unclear if he was in the bedroom with his wife at the time of impact.

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