In a tragic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a South Carolina woman was killed this week when impaled by a beach umbrella.
Tammy Perreault, 63, of Surfside Beach, who was described by friends as the “most loving, kind person,” succumbed to injuries from what was described as a “freak accident” involving an umbrella that was being carried by a strong gust of wind, WMBF News reported.
Thomas Bell, a spokesperson for Horry County Emergency Management, explained that Perreault suffered from chest trauma and was given medical care by off-duty medical professionals and good Samaritans as they awaited first responders. She would be taken to a local hospital but did not survive the injury.
“This is a terrible loss, and we know our community is hurting,” Bell said, according to the NBC affiliate. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim as they navigate through this difficult time.”
One of Perreault’s best friends, Sherry White, was there at the time, according to WMBF News.
“A gust of wind that came through took an umbrella through the air and it just kept going and going. Everyone says, “Duck,” and we did, but unfortunately she was in the line of fire,” White said.
“She was the most loving and kind person I think I ever met. She never had a bad word to say about anybody,” she added. “She always put others first and her husband and her were inseparable. If you saw Mike, you saw Tammy. They had a great passion and love for each other.”
Scotty’s Beach Bar posted a message on Facebook about “the loss of a dear friend.”
“Today with heavy hearts we mourn the loss of a dear friend and kind-hearted local, Tammy Perreault. Some things we will never begin to understand but what we do know is no one has a bad thing to say about this woman. To be as sweet as her day in and day out should be a goal for all,” the entry read.
Turns out, injuries from flying umbrellas are more common than you may think. A social media user responding to the post commented on her own experience earlier this year in the same area.
“I’m devastated and in tears for this family. This is heartbreaking! I was at Litchfield, with my husband, in May of this year,” the woman posted. “A beach umbrella flew into the back of my head knocking me out and causing a concussion. I went to the same Waccamaw ER with my head injury. They told me in the ER that they see a lot of injuries from flying umbrellas. Something needs to be done to prevent these umbrella accidents. My husband and I will be praying for this family. I’m so sorry!”
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