Hurricane Michael blamed for at least 17 deaths: Remembering the victims

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Saturday, October 13, 2018
FEMA officials give an update on Hurricane Michael
FEMA officials gave an update Friday on the conditions in Florida and elsewhere following the historically powerful Hurricane Michael.

Hurricane Michael has come and gone, but for many in its destructive path, life will never be the same.

The storm has been blamed for at least 17 deaths as of Saturday afternoon, but FEMA officials warn that the death toll may climb. Here is what we know so far about those who were killed.


Some victims have not yet been identified. Among them are four people in Gadsden County, Florida. A sheriff's office spokesperson, who did not release any other information, confirmed the deaths were related to the storm.

One victim was found in the rubble of Mexico Beach, according to Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit that entered the devastated community.

Three additional storm-related deaths were reported in Jackson County, Florida. One man in Alford died after being struck by a tree, Jackson County EMA Director Rodney Andreasen said, but the exact circumstances surrounding those fatalities is not immediately clear.


Sarah Radney

Sarah Radney, 11, died of massive blunt force trauma after she was hit in the head by flying debris, Seminole County coroner Chad Smith said on Thursday. AP reports that a carport was picked up by the storm's strong winds and dropped through the roof of a home, and one of the legs struck Sarah in the head.

Sarah had been staying at her grandparents' house with one of her siblings while on a weeklong fall break from school, AP reports.

The youngest of four until her father remarried and had two more daughters, Sarah loved being around her big family and made everything more fun, Roy and Amber Radney said in phone interviews with The Associated Press on Thursday.

"We couldn't ever get her to spend the night nowhere because she always wanted to be home with her family," Roy Radney said. "She was 11 years old, but she liked to have fun like a 5-year-old."

Sarah's grandmother was injured in the freak accident.


Unidentified victim

A 38-year-old man died when a tree fell on his car while he was driving, the director of Iredell County Fire Services/Emergency Management said. The accident took place on Old Mocksville Highway in Iredell County.


A total of six storm-related deaths have been reported in Virginia, according to local authorities, including the following two:

Lieutenant Brad Clark

Brad Clark, a lieutenant with Hanover County Fire-EMS was killed in the line of duty responding to the storm, Virginia State Police confirmed. While stopped at a crash scene, a fire engine was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. Clark died at the scene, and three others sustained serious injuries and were transported for medical care.

James E. King Jr.

James E. King Jr., 45, died after his vehicle was swept away in a flash flood, Virginia State Police confirmed.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.