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76-year-old woman killed by falling branch while checking mail in wind storm, Baltimore County officials say

A 76-year-old Baltimore County woman was killed Friday after she was struck by a falling tree branch outside her home, county officials said.

The incident comes during what the National Weather Service is calling “one of the most powerful windstorms in recent years.” The gusts have brought down large trees across the region, pummeling cars and homes.

Baltimore County emergency personnel responded to the 11000 block of Cedar Lane in Kingsville around 12:30 p.m., after a neighbor reported that a tree branch had fallen on a woman.

Emergency crews arrived to find the woman pinned under a branch and pronounced her dead on the scene, said fire department spokesman Capt. Tim Rostkowski.

The woman was at home with her husband but went outside to check the mail — that’s when the tree branch fell on her, he said.

Police did not identify the woman.

Tree branches and leaves littered Cedar Lane, a neighborhood street lined with mature trees. Police cruisers blocked off the area around the woman’s home, a one-story brick house with a large American flag flapping in the strong wind.

Police assumed control of the investigation, “but it does appear it was directly to the high winds and weather event we’re experiencing,” Rostkowski said.

So far, this is the only wind-related fatality that’s been reported in the county today.

“Since about the 11 o’clock hour, throughout Baltimore County we’ve had an increase in incidents reporting damages from wind, limbs and trees falling on top of vehicles and in a couple cases, into houses,” Rostkowski said. “That damage has been pretty much widespread throughout Baltimore County.”

In the western part of the county, three homes were deemed uninhabitable due to damage from trees, said Ellen Kobler, a county spokeswoman.

This story has been updated to correct the age of the Baltimore County woman.

trichman@baltsun.com

twitter.com/TaliRichman

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