Flying Umbrella Kills Woman on Virginia Beach

Lottie Belk died after wind-flung umbrella stabbed her in chest
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2016 2:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – A celebratory day at the beach turned to tragedy after a woman was killed Wednesday when a beach umbrella blew out of the sand and stabbed her in the chest, WHNT reports. WTKR IDs the woman as Lottie Michelle Belk (the station says she was 55; WHNT says she was 56), who was lounging along the shore off of 33rd Street in Virginia Beach, Va., when an anchored umbrella was swept up by a gust and blown in her direction, impaling her. Virginia Beach Police say they received a call just after 5pm of a woman in cardiac arrest, and when rescuers arrived on the scene, they found Belk suffering from the umbrella injury. She was taken to a local hospital, where she died.

Wind gusts in the area where Belk was killed were said to be between 20mph and 25mph, per WAVY. "It was pretty windy down here," says Hugh Martin, a boardwalk worker at the beach who was interviewed by WTVR. "It kind of looked like something out of like Wizard of Oz." Martin says he witnessed the umbrella fly up into the air and knock Belk down—"probably one of the scariest things that I've ever seen," he adds. Belk's family is now mourning the Chesterfield mental health professional, who'd been celebrating both her wedding anniversary and upcoming birthday in Virginia Beach. Her oldest daughter tells WTVR that Belk was a "loving lady" who'd just recently received her master's degree in business. (An assailant hid a Kalashnikov in an umbrella before last year's attack on a Tunisian beach.)

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