Neighbors: Boy killed by falling tree limb tried to beat storm home


by Joe Arnold

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 15 at 4:58 PM

Child hit by tree limb

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- The 13 year old boy killed by a falling tree limb while riding his scooter during severe weather Wednesday afternoon was trying to reach his house before the storm hit, neighbors told WHAS11.

Zackery Foree, 13, was pronounced dead at Kosair Children's Hospital Wednesday night, about eight hours after he was struck and pinned by at least one of two huge oak branches that snapped off a neighbor's tree.

Foree was set to enter eighth grade at Kammerer Middle School this fall, where he played flute in the band and enjoyed photography, according to a band assistant.

On Deerfield Lane, a quiet closed-end street off Rudy Lane in St. Matthews, Foree often played with neighbor children and was at a friend's home when he and his brother tried to beat the storm home, neighbors said.

"The skies got pretty black really quick," said Tom Perrin, who lives four houses from the Foree family.

The winds topping 60 miles per hour, two huge oak branches snapped off a neighbors tree - at least one of them landing on Zackery.

Each branch weighed more than 600 pounds and the tree is about 70 years old, estimated Michael Shults of Shults Tree Service.

"And with the force of it falling you can times that by two right there," Shults said, observing that the area around the tree's top branch appeared to have been damaged in a previous storm.  He believes the upper branch snapped first and brought down the lower branch with it.

Zack's brother had narrowly escaped, neighbors explained.  He cried for help as Zack was pinned.  Their father retrieved a car jack to lift the tree trunk off his unconscious and clearly critically injured son. Neighbors ran in to help.

"It was the worst case. I mean you can't describe it," said Mohammad Moghimi, "the worst case."

The principal of Kammerer Middle School said they were deeply saddened by the tragedy but declined further comment out of respect for the family's privacy.