Limb kills elderly Opp woman

Published 12:05 am Friday, June 3, 2011

An Opp woman is dead following what authorities call “a freak accident” early Thursday morning.

Seventy-six-year-old Betty Jean Bottoms was killed when a tree limb fell, striking her in the head.

“Emergency personnel were dispatched around 6:45 (Thursday) morning to Brookwood Drive,” Opp Police Chief Nickey Carnley said. “A lady walked out into her yard, and a rotten oak tree’s limb broke and fell into some pine trees, causing a big pine tree limb to break, which fell and struck her in the head.

“It’s sad, but it’s just one of those freak accidents,” he said.

Carnley said rumors were floating that the accident was caused when the City of Opp was cutting down trees. Those rumors are not true, he said.

“The City of Opp was not cutting down trees,” he said.

Carnley said Bottoms was transported to Mizell Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead there.

In a separate, but related incident, officials said the woman’s granddaughter narrowly avoided injury when she attempted to overtake an Andalusia Fire Department truck after she received news about her grandmother.

APD Assistant Chief Mike Bowlan said the fire department responded to a call early Thursday morning at Sonic, where there was a grease fire reported at approximately 6:30.

While the fire truck was attempting to turn, a woman driving a 2003 Chevy S10 pickup truck “tried to overtake” the fire truck, Bowlan said.

“After the impact, the driver failed to stop,” he said. “Officers finally caught up with the driver, who was issued multiple traffic citations.”

The driver, whose name was not readily available, was issued citations for failing to an emergency vehicle, no insurance and leaving the scene of an accident.