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Man struck by tree limb during wind storm dies

Sept. 9, 2010

An 80-year-old Wauwatosa man who was struck by a massive tree limb that fell in his yard during strong wind gusts Tuesday has died, according to the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office.

Charles Sermersheim died Thursday at Froedtert Hospital after suffering renal and respiratory failure, according to a medical examiner's report. An exact cause of death will not be determined until Sermersheim's medical records are reviewed.

Sermersheim was collecting small braches that had fallen in his yard in the 2500 block of N. 90th St. when the limb fell approximately 30 feet, according to the medical examiner's report.

Sermersheim was not pinned by the limb but suffered multiple fractures of his ribs and back, a fractured sternum and internal injuries, the report says.

The limb is believed to weigh more than 1,000 pounds and knocked Sermersheim's garage off its foundation, according to the report.

All of southeastern Wisconsin was under a wind advisory Tuesday. Gusts reported during the day included 47 mph in Milwaukee, 48 mph in West Bend and 51 mph in Kenosha.

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