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Mother struck by falling tree in Bon Air dies from cardiac arrest

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A 38-year-old Chesterfield mother was killed Tuesday morning after going into cardiac arrest when a tree fell over and landed on her, Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesperson Lt. Jason Elmore confirmed.

"Susan E. Darnell, 38, was standing in her driveway in the 8400 block of Bayfield Drive when she was struck by a falling tree," a Chesterfield Police spokesperson said. "She was transported to an area hospital, where she died as a result of her injuries."

Susan Darnell

The incident happened around 10 a.m. in a neighborhood near Powhite Parkway and Midlothian Turnpike, in Chesterfield County.

Darnell's teenage daughter witnessed the tragic incident, Crime Insider sources indicated.

Darnell was transported to Chippenham hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

The victim's uncle said she had just put her young son on the school bus minutes before the tree fell.

By 9:30 a.m. heavy rains had already moved out of the area. Wind gusts were recorded up to 30 mph Tuesday morning at RIC airport, and waned in the late morning with occasional gusts recorded up to 21 mph.

Neighbors said that it isn't uncommon for large trees to fall, but that severe weather during spring and summer months bring down the trees.

"It sounded like a dump truck," said resident Connor Thompson, "like a truck unloading something -- that's what it sounded like to me or a big dumpster full stuff being emptied."

Thompson was shaken by the event, and questioned "how do you end up at that place at that exact moment?"

"It seems like the odds are pretty astronomical," he said.

VDOT crews remained on scene, chopping up the tree and working to remove it.

Darnell was survived by her husband and two children.