- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The scope and scale of misery caused by Irma continues to grow, including its human toll. Irma, at one point the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, has claimed the lives of dozens of people across the Caribbean and southeastern United States.

Victims include two women in Havana who died when a balcony fell on their bus. A Florida jailhouse guard and sheriff’s deputy were killed in a head-on collision. A 2-year-old child on Barbuda was swept away from his mother when their roof blew off. A teenage surfer drowned in a “monster wave” when the hurricane was still far away. Several people have died of carbon monoxide poisoning from electric generators.

Here are brief portraits of some of Irma’s victims:

___

UNITED STATES

___

FLORIDA

Jan Lebron Diaz, 13

Kiara Lebron Diaz, 16

Desiree Diaz Molina, 34, Orlando

Orange County sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday afternoon found the teens and woman dead, and four others were taken to a hospital for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning.

A portable generator had been running inside the home.

Deputies said in a news release that those who died and were sickened appear to belong to the same family.

___

Terryn Wilson, 7, Lakeland

Terryn died Wednesday from apparent carbon-monoxide poisoning at a Florida home with a generator running inside after Hurricane Irma, authorities said.

Polk County sheriff’s officials said in a news release that Terryn’s mother called 911, saying she woke up feeling dizzy and her daughter appeared to be dead.

Rescue workers found the mother sitting outside. She was taken to a hospital after telling rescuers the generator was still running in the living room. The woman and her daughter had been sleeping in the bedroom with a fan blowing.

After rescue workers opened the home’s windows to let the deadly gas out, deputies retrieved the girl’s body. The home is a duplex, and carbon-monoxide levels were dangerously high in the adjoining unit. Authorities say nobody else was affected.

___

Freddie Bryant, 68, Largo

Bryant, preparing to evacuate his mobile home because of the approaching hurricane, died after falling and striking his head, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Bill Pellan, director of investigations for the office that serves Pinellas and Pasco counties, said Bryant died Friday at a St. Petersburg hospital, a day after the accident outside his home.

Pellan said Bryant fell as he and his wife packed their car. He died as a result of complications from blunt head trauma.

The death preceded the storm but came after Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Sept. 4.

___

Mart Daniels, 69, Port Richey

Daniels, who feared storm-related flooding and fled his home, died Sunday night after crashing his vehicle into a tree, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Bill Pellan, director of investigations for the office that serves Pasco and Pinellas counties, said Daniels crashed nearby and died at the scene. The autopsy ruled the death was accidental, caused by blunt trauma.

___

Vincent Forest, 55, Lake Placid

Forest fell off a ladder on Saturday as he was preparing his home for Hurricane Irma. He was pronounced dead the next day at a Tampa hospital. His autopsy concluded the cause was blunt impact to his head, including skull fractures, brain bruising and internal bleeding, according to the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s office.

Forest was married and worked for the Glade and Grove Supply Co. agricultural dealership.

___

David Boatswain, 65, Miami

Authorities suspect Boatswain died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator running inside his home.

A neighbor discovered Boatswain in his home Monday morning after he didn’t answer his phone, Miami-Dade Police Officer Robin Pinkard said Tuesday. A medical examiner is investigating, but emergency responders said the home tested positive for carbon monoxide.

“Remember we’ve always been saying, when you’re operating a generator, make sure you run it in an open space, not an enclosed space,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said. “Unfortunately in this case, the generator was run inside the house and the individual died of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

___

Joseph Ossman, 53, Sebring

Julie Bridges, 42, Wauchula

Ossman, a sergeant with the Hardee Correctional Institute, was headed to work Sunday morning and Bridges, a Hardee County sheriff’s deputy, was going home after the night shift when their vehicles collided head-on, according to a Florida Highway Patrol release.

Ossman’s car ended up on a grass shoulder, while Bridges’ patrol car came to a rest in a nearby intersection. It wasn’t immediately clear which vehicle crossed into the oncoming lane.

Lt. Gregory Bueno confirmed the area was affected by rain and other hurricane-related conditions at the time of the crash, but its official cause remains under investigation.

___

Brian Buwalda, 51, Winter Park

Buwalda died Monday after apparently being electrocuted by a downed power line, police said.

Winter Park officers responded to reports of a man lying in the roadway and determined Buwalda was dead at the scene. A medical examiner will determine an official cause of death, but police say it appears to be accidental.

___

Heidi Zehner, 50, Orlando

Zehner was driving on a state highway near Orlando on Sunday evening, when she lost control and crashed.

Her SUV struck a guardrail. The cause of death was under investigation.

The accident came a couple hours after Irma made landfall 200 miles (320 kilometers) to the south on Marco Island.

___

Wilfredo Hernandez, 55, Tampa

Hernandez died when the chain saw he was using to clear trees in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma became entangled in a branch, causing it to kick up and cut his carotid artery.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Cristal Nunez said in a news release that Hernandez was clearing trees in Tampa on Monday afternoon when the accident occurred.

Nunez said deputies used a harness to lower the man from the tree, but he died at the scene.

___

GEORGIA

Stanley Williams, 59, Sandy Springs

Williams died when a tree fell on his suburban home, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office in Atlanta said Wednesday.

Investigator Mark Gilbeau said Williams was crushed Monday by the fallen tree.

___

Nancy Eason, 67, Forsyth County

Eason, a retired court reporter, was in the passenger seat Monday when a large tree fell in a driveway, crushing her and trapping her husband, Mike Eason, who was in the driver’s seat and suffered minor injuries, sheriff’s officials said.

Nancy Eason worked for the Forsyth and Cherokee county judicial systems for many years. Mike Eason is a retired Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent and served as chief of the Cumming Police Department from 2005 to 2009.

___

SOUTH CAROLINA

Charles Saxon, 57, Calhoun Falls

Saxon died Monday after being struck by a tree limb as he was cleaning up limbs and debris outside his home, according to Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley.

An autopsy is planned for Saxon, who died at the scene.

___

William McBride, 54, Sumter County

McBride was pronounced dead Tuesday after he was found lifeless at his mobile home, where a generator was running inside, according to Sumter County Coroner Robert Baker Jr.

Baker says McBride died from carbon monoxide poisoning. McBride’s sons found him at the home Tuesday morning, and the coroner said he had several appliances plugged into the generator, with only a single window cracked for ventilation.

___

Arthur Strudwick, 48, Columbia

Strudwick, a city Public Works Department employee, was on his way to help with a downed tree Monday night when he crashed his vehicle, according to Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson.

Police said it appears Strudwick lost control of his pickup truck and went off the road, striking a tree during windy and rainy conditions. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Wilson said the city’s flags will be lowered to honor Strudwick, who worked for the department’s forestry division.

___

CARIBBEAN ISLANDS

BARBADOS

Zander Venezia, 16

Venezia, a professional surfer, drowned on Sept. 5 while surfing large swells generated by the hurricane on the island’s east coast, according to family friend and surfing instructor Alan Burke. Witnesses said Venezia was caught up in a monster wave that held him under water. Burke said it was a freak accident that occurred under blue skies and ideal surfing conditions when the storm was still hundreds of miles (kilometers) away.

Venezia had won North Carolina’s Rip Curl Grom Search surfing competition for his age group in August.

___

BARBUDA

Carl Junior Francis, 2

Carl, who had just turned 2 on Aug. 17, was swept to his death after the storm ripped the roof off the family’s house and water came in. The child’s mother, Stevet Jeremiah, fled with her husband and Carl’s 4-year-old brother but was unable to save the toddler.

“Where they were staying, the roof (was) blown off from the house and then water started getting in the house,” said Sgt. James Thomas, second in command at the Barbuda police station. “They were trying to get out of the house when apparently the child got loose and got trapped in the water.”

___

CUBA

Maria del Carmen Arregoitia Cardona, 27, Bauta

Yolendis Castillo Martinez, 27, Santiago de Cuba

The women were riding in a bus in Havana that was crushed when a fourth-floor balcony collapsed onto the vehicle, according to an official statement released by the Cuban government.

___

Osvaldo Abreu Barroso, 71, Havana

Barroso was electrocuted while trying to take down his television antenna. He fell and came in contact with a live wire, according to the government statement.

___

Alberto Francisco Flores Garcia, 77, Havana

Garcia was struck by an electric pole toppled by the wind as he walked down a street, according to the government statement.

___

Roydis Valdes Perez, 54, Havana

Walfrido Antonio Valdes Perez, 51, Granma

The brothers were killed when the home of Roydis Valdes Perez partially collapsed in the storm, according to the government statement.

___

Nieves Martinez Burgaleta, 89, Plaza de la Revolucion

Burgaleta was found floating in flood waters in front of his inundated apartment building, according to the government statement.

___

Alberto Manzano Martinez, 65, Matanzas

Orlando Torres Cruz, 53, Bolivia

Edilberto Cabrera Rodríguez, 64, Esmeralda Camaguey

Government officials said the homes of all three men collapsed, and added they “did not observe the norms of conduct” by “refusing evacuation.”

___

HURRICANE NEWSLETTER - Get the best of the AP’s all-formats reporting on Irma and Harvey in your inbox: https://apne.ws/ahYQGtb

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide