Storms in NW Atlanta topple tree, killing popular teacher - CBS46 News

Storms in NW Atlanta topple tree, killing popular teacher

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Tanikki Echols tried wrap her head around a painful reminder of how short life is and quickly loved ones can be taken away.

"You know, I would never think that this freak accident would happen to my aunt," said Echols.

Echols' aunt Dr. Pat Pusha was killed overnight as strong storms pushed through Atlanta, toppling a massive, old oak tree onto Pusha's house. Echol's uncle was also home at the time and told her that Pusha had fallen asleep in a recliner watching television.

"He said he heard a boom and the house just shook and he yelled up, "Pat are you alright?" and she said "I'm alright".

The family soon realized all was not alright, as rescue crews discovered the 60-year old Ronald E. McNair Science teacher had died.

As Pat's family planned her funeral, they recalled celebrations for Pusha over the last few weeks. Pusha recently earned her doctorate degree, and celebrated her 60th birthday.

They are memories Tanikki Echols held onto, while thinking of her own children and the trees that surround her own home.

"My house has got trees behind it now and my kids' room is behind it so now I'm just wondering should we just cut down the trees, so right now I'm just nervous," said Echols.

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