A victim of Hurricane Florence described losing his wife and son at the same time when a tree smashed into their home

  • Adam Johnson, a victim of Hurricane Florence, described a tree smashing into his home and killing both his wife and son.
  • Lesha Murphy-Johnson and their eight-month-old son died in the impact last Friday in Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • Johnson has described the event in an interview with The Daily Beast. He said the tree pinned his legs, leaving him unable to see his wife and child.
  • It took hours to remove Johnson, and he found out later in hospital that his wife and son did not survive.

A victim of Hurricane Florence has described losing his wife and son when the storm smashed a tree into their home.

Adam Johnson, 48, lost his wife, Lesha Murphy-Johnson, and their eight-month-old child, also named Adam, when the tree hit their shared bedroom.

The impact left Johnson’s legs pinned under the trunk and his wife and son covered in debris, hidden from view.

“I heard a big boom, so I jumped up and I got hit in the head with the bottom half of my body still on the bed and I was trapped,” Johnson told The Daily Beast.

“All I could do was start yelling, “Help! Help! Help!'” he said. “Everyone came running.”

Their rented house in Wilmington, North Carolina, wasn’t in the mandatory evacuation zone, Johnson said.

The family, including Lesha’s three daughters from a previous marriage and her mother, didn’t think there was a huge threat to their safety. But the mother and son became early victims of a storm that has taken at least 31 lives.

His stepdaughter tried to reach the pair, but there was nothing anyone in the house could do. “But my kids are good thinkers and they called the fire department, who were there in five minutes,” Johnson said.

It took hours to free Johnson. He said that at one point the rescuers lifted the tree but it shifted, falling on to his legs again. “They told me the hospital sent two guys to cut my leg off if they couldn’t get me out any other way.”

“I just knew the worst had happened,” he said. “I was calling and yelling her name and… nothing. I just knew.”

Johnson got the news when he was in the hospital that his wife and son did not survive.

He told The Daily Beast that Lesha was “just a happy person.”

“She always had a smile and a good word for you. She’d help you out with her last when she could,” he said.

The baby, he said, was “just a bundle of joy.”

Johnson said that he expects to be out of the hospital in a few weeks, but has no idea how he will carry on.

“I don’t know. I don’t know,” he said. “Just one day at a time, I guess.”

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