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Anne Arundel man killed by falling tree

A tree felled by the effects of the storm crashed through a Pasadena home in Anne Arundel County Monday night, killing a 74-year-old man, authorities said.

County officials identified the man as Donald C. Cannata Sr., who neighbors said was friendly but reserved and lived alone.

Neighbors and officials said an 80-foot oak tree — the same tree where Cannata leashed his poodle, Ricky — fell into the kitchen of the small, brick ranch-style home on Suitt Avenue. Fire officials said the tree trapped the man beneath it. He died at the scene.

Sandy's gale-force winds and rain prevented emergency workers from removing the tree completely until midday Tuesday. Cannata was one of two people in Maryland whose deaths were attributed to Hurricane Sandy. Another person died in a head-on collision in Clarksburg.

Neighbor John Brown said he knew Cannata for 37 years. Cannata was a retired construction engineer who had done work in Baltimore and on the Bay Bridge, Brown said. Even in retirement, Cannata still worked rehabilitating row houses in Baltimore.

"He was friendly and loved everybody," Brown said. "He treated everybody well."

Cannata's family could not be reached on Tuesday.

Huge trees tower over homes in the hilly Pasadena neighborhood where Sandy also brought down several large limbs onto neighboring streets.

"It was terrible," Brown said of the storm. "It sounded like a tornado."

Brown's son and daughter attended school with two of Cannata's three adult children, Brown said. Most residents here have lived in the neighborhood a long time, he said.

"Most of the people in this neighborhood have lived here their whole lives," Brown said. "If the parents passed away, the kids moved in."

Next door neighbor Josh Beckford said the oak tree fell from Cannata's front yard into the kitchen. Beckford said police told neighbors the man was getting a drink of water when the tree hit the house.

County Executive John R. Leopold said he visited the home at 6 a.m. Tuesday and talked to the man's nephew, who told the county executive Cannata worked as an engineer. Leopold said emergency workers had to await the arrival of a crane to lift the tree from the house and extricate the man.

Brian Kettering has lived a few houses down from Cannata for eight years and remembered him as a friendly man who kept to himself.

Until he emerged from his home to the sound of chain saws and a news helicopter, Kettering hadn't thought much of Hurricane Sandy's bluster.

"We had some heavy rains, and a lot of thumps and bumps," Kettering said.

Neighbor Mary Mueller said Cannat had a fluffy white dog he often tied to the oak tree in front of his home. Beckford, who lived next door, said Cannata owned a poodle named Ricky.


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