22-year-old man dies in storm in Byrd Park: ‘He was love of my life’

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Police identified the man killed in Byrd Park during Thursday afternoon's storm as 22-year-old Preston G. Norton, of Henrico County.

"[Norton] was walking on a trail near the 1700 block of Pump House Drive when a tree limb fell, striking and injuring him," a Richmond Police spokesperson said. "A companion called for medical assistance, but he was pronounced dead at the scene."

Emergency personnel were called to the park at about 5:13 p.m. Thursday, according to police.

Crime Insider sources indicated Thursday that Norton died after he suffered a cardiac arrest, however Richmond Police indicated the Medical Examiner would determine the man' s cause of death.

A person walking with Norton called police for help.

Richmond Fire Capt. Earl Dyer said due to the storm and storm debris, it was difficult to reach Norton and he was in cardiac arrest when emergency crews arrived.

Norton's mother shared photos of her son.

"He was my only son and child, he was the love of my life," she said.

Second District City Council Member Kim Gray said the city needs to move forward with tree removal, and pointed out several trees along the popular Vita exercise course in Byrd Park.

"I'm always taking pictures and noting that there are some pretty seriously dead or dying trees out here," Gray said.

City crews have marked several trees for removal, but Gray said some haven`t been touched for months.

"When they`re hollowed out and they present a danger to our citizens, they have to come down," Gray said.

Gray said safety should come first in the debate to save old trees in the city.

"I would err on the side of public safety over saving some of the trees," she said.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips and photos here.

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