2-year-old killed, mother injured when tree falls on home near Detroit amid severe weather and tornado

LIVONIA, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — A 2-year-old boy was killed and his mother seriously injured, authorities said, when a tree fell on a home in the Detroit suburb of Livonia Wednesday afternoon amid severe weather that also spawned a tornado.

The Livonia Fire Department confirmed the child’s death. Fire Chief Robert Jennison said the tree landed on a bed where the child and his mother were sleeping. The mother was taken to hospital and is in critical condition.

Jennison said a 2-month-old was also home at the time, but is expected to be OK.

“I’ve been here 35 years. I’ve never seen a storm like this. It’s devastating, it’s horrible to see,” Livonia resident Melanie Ricketts told CBS News Detroit.

In a statement, the city of Livonia said it expressed “its deepest condolences to the family following the death of their 2-year-old son, who was killed after a tree fell on the family home when a tornado developed quickly hit several people. Livonia neighborhoods around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Livonia, estimating that wind peaked at 95 mph. A weather service investigation shows the tornado started around 3:30 p.m. and lasted nine minutes, traveling 5.5 miles.

It began east of the intersection of Schoolcraft and Eckles roads, traveled north of Interstate 96, and rose southwest of Seven Mile and Middlebelt roads.

Tree falls on home in Livonia, Michigan following severe weather

Brian Kahn, director of the city’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, told CBS News in a statement that several homes were damaged and several trees uprooted by the storm.

“Yes, it was determined that an EF1 tornado originated from a series of storms moving through southeast Michigan,” Kahn said.

Additionally, Livonia Parks and Recreation says Rotary Park was temporarily closed after the storm downed several trees and the roof of the park’s main shelter.

“As we assess storm damage today, Livonia residents are asked to notify the city if any trees are down and blocking streets and roadways. These can be reported at Livonia.gov/ 1871 or by calling the Livonia Police Department non-emergency line at (734) 466-2470,” Livonia Fire and Rescue said in a social media post.

The governor of Michigan. Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement on X (formerly Twitter):

My team has been in contact with the mayor of Livonia following today’s severe weather. It is tragic to learn of the death of a young Michigander. For those affected by the storm, emergency response teams are on the ground and utilities will work to restore power.

The weather service warned of severe thunderstorms in Wayne Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties until 5:15 p.m., with wind gusts up to 50 mph, also causing storm damage in other parts of the metropolitan area.

In Farmington Hills, police and firefighters said they responded to a collapsed awning at the Citgo gas station at 10 Mile and Middlebelt Roads, which fell on two vehicles and a motorcycle. Police Chief Jeff King said a small fire caused by fuel in a damaged pump was also reported.

One person was injured and taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Police say a worker managed to cut off the fuel supply to the other pumps. Nearby shops are open.

Metro Detroit gas station collapses after severe weather

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