Yesterday’s storm brought 60-80 mph wind gusts that uprooted a Maymont tree.
Update #1 — June 14, 2013; 10:15 AM
Maymont staff and City workers are clearing the park of debris following yesterday’s storm. The park will open Saturday, June 15th at 10:00 AM and follow normal operations to the public.
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Original — June 14, 2013
A four-year-old boy died yesterday at Maymont park when an uprooted tree fell onto him and his father shortly before 4:00 PM while park officials were evacuating the premises ahead of yesterday’s storm. The boy died at the scene; the boy’s father was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police have identified the child as Shawn Willis of Chesterfield.
“The Maymont Foundation is deeply saddened by the death of a young guest at Maymont today,” said Cathie Rosenberg, a Maymont spokesperson. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the victims.”
According to Maymont board member Mary Bayliss, workers scattered across the park’s 100 acres with bullhorns to shepherd visitors to safety before the storm arrived. But the storm moved quickly, bringing wind gusts between 60 – 80 mph as Maymont visitors raced indoors. With grounds already saturated by an especially wet spring, the roots of the felled tree rose out of the ground.
Bayliss said the park will “reexamine our procedures” in light of yesterday’s tragedy. Maymont will be closed to the public until further notice.
photo by Jim Clark