Hockey mom impaled by stick during tornado, elderly farmer thrown off roof of farm
Published Tuesday, September 25, 2018 4:44PM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, September 26, 2018 11:22AM EDT
Leo Muldoon remains in ICU at Ottawa Hospital.
49-year-old Shari Rochon.
We now know that ferocious weather that roared through Eastern Ontario claimed at least one life. And three more people remain in hospital. One, a hockey mom, was undergoing spinal surgery Tuesday. Another, a Dunrobin farmer, is slowly recovering.
When the landscape looks as though a bomb went off, it's hard to believe there weren't more deaths, and many more injuries.
The sheer force of the tornadoes that hit our region Friday easily snapped trees, picked up cars and ripped houses right off their foundations. One of those trees, a stately maple, toppled on 46-year-old Darren Smith near his Rideau Lakes Township home. His 17-year-old daughter was beside him. She survived but Smith was killed. The father of two was a long-time Kingston employee and supervisor of Recreation Facilities.
“It's a tragic loss for us,” said Kingston’s mayor Bryan Paterson, “It’s more than just losing an employee, it's losing a part of a family here.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Darren Smith's family. It's already raised more than $30,000 of the $50,000 goal.
In Dunrobin, one of the regions hardest hit in the Ottawa area, 78-year-old Leo Muldoon was working on the roof of his barn when the tornado roared through. It flattened the structure, throwing Leo off a ladder.
“A neighbour came into the yard,” explains Adele Muldoon, on the phone from the Civic campus of the Ottawa Hospital, “I was about to check on him and a neighbour said “just wait here” and when he came back down without Leo and I said, “Is everything all right?” he said, “No, Leo, he's on the ground.”
He suffered broken ribs and collapsed lungs and was undergoing surgery Tuesday afternoon.
“He's a strong guy,” Adele says, “and I don't think he's ready to quit farming.”
At the strip mall in Dunrobin, Shari Rochon was getting an ice cream with her 14-year-old son Jack. He decided to stay in the car but she went inside. Seconds later, the tornado hit. Shari's husband Ian Clyne says his wife was impaled in the stomach by a stick of wood. She has a shattered vertebrae and a punctured lung and had to have her spleen removed. Her son saw it all happen.
The 49-year-old is a hockey mom with the Kanata Minor Hockey Association.
They're asking for donations to help the family as they go through this traumatic period.
Elsewhere in Dunrobin, among the rubble, lies Yee Chung's house. The couple lost their home and nearly lost their 18-year-old daughter who was alone when the tornado tore a path right through the area.
“She fell on the stairway, when she tried to get into the basement,” says her father Yee Chung, “She had broken ribs but she's okay now, she’s recovering.”
Her mother Selina Siu adds, “Debris hit her and she fell on the basement."
The young woman was released from hospital yesterday.
On the Gatineau side, only two or three people went to the hospital with fractures and cuts, none had life threatening injuries.