Mass. woman, 22, killed when Tennessee storms knock tree down on car

"It's a loss for everybody because the girl was going to do wonderful things."

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Massachusetts woman has died after storms in Tennessee knocked down a tree that landed on the car she was driving.

A Tennessee Highway Patrol preliminary report says 22-year-old Laurel Flaherty from Pembroke died after the incident Wednesday in Williamson County.

Belmont University President Greg Jones says Flaherty was a first-year law student at the Nashville school after completing a bachelor’s degree in social work there in May.

“We are all devastated by today’s news, and we have reached out to her family, faculty and classmates to offer our support and deepest condolences,” Jones said. “In addition, support services and resources are being made available for our campus community.”


“Our entire school community is once again shaken by the untimely, tragic passing of an amazing PHS graduate,” tweeted Marc Talbot, principal of Pembroke High School. “Our condolences go out to the family & friends of Laurel Flaherty (‘18), a wonderful student/performing artist who touched the lives of so many students & staff members.”

Phyllis Cervelli, Flaherty’s horse trainer in Massachusetts, told WTVF in Nashville that Flaherty “was a beautiful equestrian.”

“It’s a loss for everybody because the girl was going to do wonderful things,” Cervelli said.

The National Weather Service in Nashville said parts of Williamson County reached 75 mph winds during the line of storms that crossed Middle Tennessee on Wednesday.


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