In a freak, weather related incident Saturday, an 85-year-old resident died in Vidor.

According to Det. Chad Hogan, Orange County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 4:45 p.m., Saturday of a man that had been struck by a tree limb in North Vidor.

Upon arrival at 165 Hulett St., officer’s found a tree limb they described as “big as a car” had struck Willie Clayton Cothern in the head causing a large fracture of his skull.

Cothern and his caretaker had just returned home during the height of yesterday’s storm. The car, driven by Cothern’s caretaker had been pulled close to the awning so Cothern could get out of the car as close to the house as possible in the high winds and heavy rains. As he was exiting the vehicle from the passenger’s side, an extremely large branch broke off, near the top of a 50-60 foot tree and fell, killing Cothern. The vehicle and awning were also damaged.

The caretaker was not injured.

Orange County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Janice Menard pronounced Cothern dead at the scene. An autopsy has been ordered. Cothern was transported to the Jefferson County Morgue. 

The Criminal Investigations Division is conducting the investigation.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.