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Tree Limb Falls, Injures Six People During Funeral at South Side Church

By  Darryl Holliday and Emily Morris | July 2, 2013 1:37pm | Updated on July 2, 2013 5:47pm

 Six people were hit by a falling tree limb outside a funeral service for a slain Chicago woman.
Six people were hit by a falling tree limb outside a funeral service for a slain Chicago woman.
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DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday

CHICAGO — A fallen tree limb injured six people in front of a Chatham church Tuesday afternoon during a funeral service, according to church members.

The tree fell sometime before 12:35 p.m. in the 8400 block of South Maryland Avenue, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

A large limb, part of a row of three large trees in front of Harvey Memorial Community Church, fell during the funeral service for 27-year-old Lauren Hudson, a Chicago native who was fatally shot in Atlanta, according to Harvey church pastor Darrow Andrews.

Andrews, who took over as pastor two months ago, was inside the church leading the funeral procession when the tree fell "just as the service was ending," he said.

At least one woman, a member of the church, was hit in the head by the limb. About a dozen men rushed to pry the large tree limb off her before she was moved to safety on a chair in the church lobby.

"There were a bunch of people literally holding the tree up," Andrews said, shortly before he left to visit the victim in the hospital.

The woman "was talking and was lucid" once she was taken inside, but blood could be seen on her forehead, members of the church said.

Two people were sent to a local hospital in fair-to-serious condition, and four others were hospitalized in good condition, according to the Fire Department.

Andrews said the woman who appeared to have the worst injuries received a staple to close a wound on the back of her head. She was given a CT scan, but was released later Tuesday, he said.

"She is going to be OK," he said.

Andrews did not know the exact injuries to the other funeral-goers.

According to 5th Ward Ald. Leslie Hairston, the three trees will be removed by the city's Forestry Department as soon as possible.

Hudson, a William Bogan High School graduate and mother of a young daughter, had enlisted in the Army reserve, obtained her emergency medical technician license and was close to receiving her barber license, according to a funeral program. She died June 22.

Reporter Kyla Gardner contributed.