Kentucky grandma killed by falling Denny’s sign was traveling with her dying husband
The 72-year-old Kentucky grandmother who was killed by a falling Denny’s sign had just picked up her dying husband from the hospital when tragedy struck.
Lillian Mae Curtis, her husband Lloyd Eugene Curtis Sr., 77, and their daughter Mary Graham, 58, were believed to be stopping for food on Thursday afternoon when the 2,600lb sign fell on their car amid 50 mph gusts in Elizabethtown.
The family had just picked up Lloyd from the UofL Hospital, where he had been recovering from heart surgery. The grandfather was in hospice and given just three months to live by doctors, KVUE reports.
Lillian and Lloyd’s grandchildren said they were dumbfounded by the tragedy that robbed their grandparents of the little time they had left together.
‘It’s definitely not something you can truly wrap your mind around,’ Mary Howard, Graham’s daughter, told the outlet. ‘I don’t know that the shock has worn off – or the fact that we’re going to go home and life is going to continue without her.’
Lillian Mae Curtis (left) was with her husband Lloyd Eugene Curtis Sr. (right) and daughter Mary Graham when a Denny’s sign fell on them, killing the grandmother.
The sign fell amid high winds in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, on Thursday, with emergency responders rushing to the scene to pull the victims out
Lillian, 72, had just picked up Lloyd from the hospital following heart surgery. The 77-year-old was in hospice and was given only three months to live
Lillian, who was sitting in the back seat of the car, was immediately crushed by the falling sign. The grandmother was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extracted from the vehicle by emergency workers.
Her granddaughter, Amy Nichols, told WDRB News her head wound had been ‘catastrophic’ and ‘inoperable.’
Howard told KVUE that her grandmother’s death had been ‘absolutely instantaneous and that there was no way her body could have felt any pain.’
Lloyd had been rushed to hospital with fluid in his lungs and was waiting to be transferred back to the Jewish Hospital.
Graham, who had been driving, sustained five broken ribs and a concussion, but has since been discharged from hospital.
The family has now rushed to Lloyd’s side as they fear he and Graham are traumatized over Lillian’s death. She and Lloyd were married for more than 50 years and have more than a dozen great-grandchildren.
Family members took solace in that Lilian’s death was instantaneous
Loved ones fear Lilian’s husband and daughter will be traumatized as they witnessed her die
Horrifying pictures show the destroyed car after the freak accident, which Elizabethtown Police are investigating.
Elizabethtown Police spokesman Chris Denham said he was shocked by the accident.
‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ Denham said.
‘It’s certainly very windy out here and I’m certain that did have a factor and was involved in this.’
Crews removing the sign from the scene said it weighed about 2,600 pounds, approximately the weight of a small car.
There had been gusts of wind of up to 50mph in the surrounding area at the time of the accident.
A dramatic video captured the moment the 2,600 lbs sign was knocked down by the wind. It fell and crushed the car Mrs Curtis was sat in
The family was believed to have stopped for a meal when tragedy struck
Mrs Curtis’s granddaughter, Amy Nichols, paid tribute online and said she didn’t know how her family would cope without her.
‘This woman right here my beautiful nanny Lillian Mae Curtis was the matriarch of our family she was the strongest woman I have ever seen in my life.
‘I don’t know how myself or my family can even begin to live in a cold world without her in it.
‘She was my biggest supporter in life and always had me when nobody else did. I am so lost right now I can’t even function,’ Amy Nichols said.
‘She was my Nanny, she was my second momma, she was everything to me. I would give my life to have her back.
‘I love you so much nanny. I just want to hug you again and smell your cologne and tell you I love you. How do I say goodbye to you I wish it would of been me in that backseat not you. I just want you back.’
She has launched a GoFundMe to raise money for her grandmother’s memorial service.
Denny’s said it was aware of the incident and was working with the authorities to understand what caused the accident.
‘Safety is our top priority, and we are working with the authorities to better understand what led to this situation. Our thoughts are with all of those involved.’