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Flying Beach Umbrella Fatally Impales Woman At Virginia Beach

REUTERS/Albert Gea

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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A woman died after a beach umbrella caught in a gust of wind went flying through the air and stabbed her in the chest Wednesday at Virginia Beach.

Police identified the victim as Lottie Michelle Belk, 55, from Chester, Virginia. Witnesses said the beach umbrella, anchored in the sand, was dislodged by powerful winds and struck Belk in the chest. Police were dispatched to respond to a cardiac arrest call, finding Belk with a life-threatening injury. Authorities rushed her to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injury, reports NBC Washington.

The incident occurred on Virginia Beach at 33rd Street just after 5 p.m.

“It was pretty windy down here,” Hugh Martin, a boardwalk worker, told KTLA 5. “It kind of looked like something from the Wizard of Oz. Literally. Saw the umbrella go up in the air, and literally hit the woman, knocking her to the side.”

A homicide investigation is currently underway by the Virginia Beach Police Department, but authorities say there is no evidence of foul play. Martin said he saw Belk speaking to children on the beach when the umbrella hit her, reports KTLA 5.

“Immediately, the lifeguards, and people start rushing around,” Martin said. “It was probably the most scariest things I’ve ever seen.”

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