A 75-year-old oak tree along a southern Michigan road fell over onto a minivan, killing a woman and her 11-year-old daughter and seriously injuring an older daughter just 300 yards from their apparent destination, authorities said.
It wasn't immediately clear what caused the tree in Convis Township to topple Wednesday afternoon, but it may have been weakened by a powerful storm that moved through the state on Tuesday. The National Weather Service said when the tree fell, the sky was overcast and the wind was blowing at about 8-12 mph.
The Calhoun County sheriff's department said the victims, Jodi, Erica and Larissa Kohn, were more than 100 miles from their home in Davison, near Flint, and were headed to the Cornwell's Turkeyville USA attraction near the accident site. Investigators found the tourist stop's address on the minivan's GPS device.
Jodi Kohn, who turned 46 on Monday, and Erica were killed. Larissa, 13, was taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo for treatment of serious injuries, The Battle Creek Enquirer reported. The hospital said Thursday it would not release further information about the girl's condition, citing privacy laws.
Darrell Rapp, who owns the property where the tree stood, told the Enquirer that he was in the garage when it toppled.
"My wife heard something, but she didn't know what it was," said Rapp, 84, who has lived on the property for more than 60 years.
Rapp said the tree was budding and still alive.
"It was big and old but you can't see inside," said Rapp, who confirmed that there was little or no wind at the time the tree fell.