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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

They were sleeping when a tree came crashing down onto their home. He survived. She did not.

A matter of inches was the difference between life and death for Maurice Long and his wife Beverly.

LINWOOD, N.C. — A Davidson County grandmother was asleep Monday morning when a tree went pummeling into her home.

The distance between Maurice Long and his wife Beverly in their bed, only inches, was the difference between life and death.

Maurice survived. Beverly did not.

The Davidson County Sheriff's Office said around 6 that morning, a tree came crashing down in the Longs' front yard and home on Linwood-Southmont Road. 

The tree split right in the middle of their bed, leaving Maurice calling out for his wife, unable to see her through the branches and rubble.

By the time emergency crews got there, deputies crews said Beverly had already died.

"It's just, you know, between life and death was the width of a tree right there. My uncle on one side here amongst the living and my aunt on the other side transitioning. It's just devastating for our family, this community, everyone involved, and everybody that knew her," said Teresa Hert, who is Beverly and Maurice's niece.

Hert said her 61-year-old aunt was a Sunday school teacher, a school bus driver, and a light in everyone's life. 

This past weekend, Beverly made and distributed Easter baskets for kids in her neighborhood.

"She was just an all-around sweet person, ready to lend a hand any time she could. She was fantastic," Hert said. "It's just so hard for my family right now. Really, really hard." 

Beverly's husband, 62-year-old Maurice Long, walked away with a broken wrist and a broken rib.

He's out of the hospital, recovering at his son's home.

Davidson County 911 said they got more than 100 downed tree reports overnight into Monday morning. 

Beverly Long was the only one who lost her life.

You can help the family with funeral arrangements and other unexpected costs by donating here.

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