SC beachgoer impaled, killed by airborne umbrella

Off-duty medical professionals and good Samaritans helped the woman, then EMS providers treated her for chest trauma and transported her

By Leila Merrill

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. — Tammy Perreault, 63, of Surfside Beach, was impaled and killed Wednesday by a beach umbrella that was picked up by a gust of wind in Garden City, WMBF reported.

Off-duty medical professionals and good Samaritans treated Perreault for chest trauma while waiting for EMS providers to arrive, according to Thomas Bell, a spokesperson for Horry County Emergency Management.

EMS providers transported her to a hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries almost an hour after the umbrella accident.

The kind of beach umbrella in use has a spiked end that can be pushed into sand and a wide canopy that can be caught in a strong wind, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

The agency estimates about 3,000 people a year are injured by beach umbrellas.

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