CANTON (CBS) – A 48-year-old Canton man was fatally struck by a falling tree limb late Friday night, the second storm-related death in the town in less than a day.
Canton Police said that Friday around 11:15 p.m., firefighters were called to Longmeadow Drive for a report of smoke in a house. When a neighbor spotted firefighters in the neighborhood, they ran and got them to help the man.
Thomas Gunning was clearing snow off his family’s backyard ice rink, when a branch fell from 45 feet above and hit him on the head. Canton Fire Chief Charles Doody says Gunning didn’t hear the limb break and had no time to react.
Firefighters performed first aid on Gunning and transported him to Boston Medical Center. He died from his injuries Saturday evening.
Gunning was a long-time resident and a leader in the town’s youth hockey program. He also was the father of three young sons.
In a statement released Saturday night, Canton Police Chief Kenneth Berkowitz said Gunning had passed away.
Early on Saturday, police said Gunning had died. During a news conference, however, police said they had received incorrect information and Gunning was actually alive but in critical condition.
Dean S. Luce Elementary School, where Kaleigh Kenyon was a student, held a moment of silence before their performance of “The Wizard of Oz” on Saturday.
The school will also have grief counselors available Sunday afternoon.
Several inches of snow fell on Friday. The snow was wet and heavy, causing issues with falling branches throughout the region.
Doody added, “It’s very difficult to wrap your head around these two incidents. It’s really unprecedented for us.”
WBZ-TV’s Chantee Lans and Katie Brace contributed to this report.