Hanahan teenager risks her life to help 72-year-old killed by fallen tree

Published: Apr. 21, 2014 at 8:37 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2014 at 3:24 PM EDT
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A 72-year-old man is dead after a tree fell on a home in Hanahan early Monday morning, according to the Berkeley County Coroner's Office.

According to an incident report, Hanahan and North Charleston Fire Departments were called out to assist crews on Leone Court, near Otranto Boulevard just after midnight after a giant tree fell on a home.
Neighbors are in shock after the tree fell onto the home killing 72-year-old William Carl Klein.

Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury says Klein was in his upstairs den sitting in a chair when the tree fell, destroying the upstairs floor and pinning him down between the tree and the dining room floor downstairs.

While pinned in a chair he was comforted by a 17-year-old who put her life in danger to help.

"Last thing I heard her say to him was, oh you were in the Navy for three years? She was trying to keep him calm,” said Kim Davidson, mother of the teenager.  

Davidson says her daughter bravely ran into her neighbor's home after the tree fell thru the roof trapping Klein inside.

"It all happened so fast, we didn't have time to think about anything," said Davidson.

Davidson says she was in bed when it happened. 

"It was a few minutes after midnight and in my sleep, I thought I heard a thunderstorm and then I heard commotion with my oldest daughter running, hollering," said Davidson.

That's when Davidson says her daughter ran next door to help her neighbor.  

"He was answering her questions," said Davidson, "She asked immediately if she could pray with him."

Davidson said, "His legs I think were pinned."

The responding officer says Klein told him his bones were broken below the knee but there was too much debris to be sure.

"He was just like somebody get me out of here. He wasn't hysterical but he was very highly upset and agitated," said Davidson.

"It took about three hours to get him out to stabilize the ceiling and the floor," said Davidson.

Klein was overcome by his injuries after he was taken to the Trident Medical Center. 

Davidson said, "It was just a freak accident."

Davidson says she's glad her daughter was able to provide some comfort for a man she says was very kind and quiet. 

"She's pretty amazing. I was very surprised at how well she did last night," said Davidson.

Investigators say Klein was going to be flown to the Medical University of South Carolina by helicopter but the medical team felt his injuries were too severe.

Klein leaves behind a wife. His neighbors say he also had children.

According to the coroner, the backyard tree fell because of recent heavy rain fall. 

The death has been ruled accidental. 

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