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Police ID woman killed at campsite during wind storm

Police ID woman killed at campsite during wind storm

A man was also killed in Longview when a tree fell on a mobile home

March 13th, 2018 by Associated Press in Texas News

Authorities have identified a woman killed in a storm early Sunday at a campsite in Marion County.

Mary Zaruba Pinney, 41, of Mont Belvieu, Texas, died at the Brush Creek campsite—a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-maintained campground on the southwest shore of Lake O' the Pines—after straight-line winds caused major damage to the area, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Pinney was struck and killed by a large, wind-blown tree that fell on the tent in which she and her family were camping, officials said.

According to the National Weather Service, preliminary reports show the damage was caused by straight-line winds and not a tornado. The storm produced large hail and damaging winds for an 85-mile path from near Mount Pleasant to south of Waskom.

Pinney's husband was seriously injured and taken to an area hospital. Their three children, who were also in the tent, were not injured.

Forecasters say heavy rains have saturated the ground, making it easier for strong winds to topple trees.

Several other people in the campground suffered minor injuries.

The campground was full when the storm struck. Many children and teenagers were getting an apparent jump start on spring break, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office. Debris cleanup and damage assessment will continue for several more days, along with removal of damaged RVs and vehicles, authorities say.

Police in nearby Longview say a 41-year-old man also was killed Sunday when a tree fell on a mobile home.

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