WINONA LAKE, Ind. (WANE) – Police say strong winds from the storm early Tuesday morning sent a tree crashing on top of a mobile home in Winona Lake, just east of Warsaw. A 10-year-old boy miraculously escaped with just a scratch. But his best friend, a 14-year-old, wasn’t as fortunate.
Corbitt Hollon was inside the front of his neighbor’s mobile home at the time of the storm. Around 1:20 a.m., the 10-year-old said he and his 14-year-old neighbor were up playing games on their phones when the tree came crashing down.
“There was like a crack and it was raining and the wind was blowing hard and then we just heard a big crash and it busted the house and the front over there,” Corbitt said. “The tree was right on Danny and I thought he just like got hurt a lot, but I didn’t know that he died.”
Corbitt said he tried to help his friend but couldn’t, and miraculously found a way out through the bottom of the mobile home. The 10-year-old’s mother, Chrissy Hollon, said her son is still struggling to understand.
“He don’t know how to take it. He thought it was a nightmare,” she said. “But when he came out this morning he started crying because he seen it wasn’t a nightmare and I think he’s still in a little bit of a shock.”
Friends and family of the teenager who died signed the hood of a car and started a makeshift memorial on the broken tree trunk. Their feelings are simply summed up by the words of an innocent 10-year-old boy.
“I’m sad about it,” Corbitt said. “I cried this morning because I miss him.”
As of Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. the Winona Lake Police Department hadn’t officially released the name of the 14-year-old who died.
The family of the teenager who died is raising money for his funeral because they don’t have insurance. The Titus Funeral Home in Warsaw is accepting donations. Anyone interested in helping out can donate money in person at the funeral home or mail a donation to:
2000 East Sheridan St.
Warsaw, IN 46581
Checks should be made payable to the Titus Funeral Home. Officials ask donors to write “Holbrook Family” in the memo line of the check. Special envelopes are available at the funeral home for cash donations.