Man dies when tree falls on Chapel Hill home as storms hit region

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — As storms moved through central North Carolina Sunday afternoon, a tree fell on a Chapel Hill home, killing a person inside, officials said.

The incident was reported around 4:50 p.m. in the 1200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Chapel Hill, according to Chapel Hill police and Orange County officials.

A nearby tree fell into a mobile home in the Tar Heel Mobile Court, killing one person inside a house, authorities said.

Grijalva Revolorio Abel, 47, of Chapel Hill was later identified as the victim, according to a news release from Chapel Hill police.

Anibel Grijalva says Abel, his uncle, was home alone watching YouTube videos Sunday evening when the tree came crashing down onto the house. 

“We tried to contact him but he never answered. Then the police came and said he passed away and it’s sad you know,” said Anibel Grijalva. 

Storms were moving through the area at the time of the accident. The family says that all day trees were shaking from strong winds and that there was a lot of rain. 

Grijalva says he and his uncle came to the United States seeking a better life for their family, but they never expected a tragedy like this. 

“We grew up together. It’s hard you know. Now I have to be strong for my family,” said Grijalva.

The victim was described by his family as funny and always happy. Now they are starting the process of planning a funeral. 

Storms were moving over Chapel Hill at the time of the incident, but no warnings had been issued at that point.

Winds were estimated at about 40 mph, according to weather officials.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for areas including southern Wake County and parts of Johnston County.

No one else was injured during the incident.

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