Death of Laurel woman brings tornado death toll to 24 in Kentucky

bestep@herald-leader.comMarch 23, 2012 

A Laurel County woman has died as a result of injuries she suffered in the March 2 storms, according to the Fayette County Coroner's Office.

Mary A. Pruitt, 37, died Friday as a result of blunt force trauma, according to the report.

A family member said earlier that Pruitt suffered a punctured lung, several broken bones, bleeding in her brain and other injuries when a tornado destroyed the mobile home she shared with her mother, Ethel Pruitt, in the East Bernstadt area.

Ethel Pruitt, 64, died in the tornado.

Mary Pruitt had been in critical condition at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital since the storm. She was pronounced dead at 11:46 a.m. Friday.

Mary Pruitt was disabled and stayed in her room much of the time, said her aunt, Doris Harris.

Her mother, a former telephone company employee, cared for Pruitt, Harris said.

Mary Pruitt is the 24th person to die in connection with the powerful tornadoes that hit several Kentucky counties March 2, according to the state Division of Emergency Management.

Most of those victims died from injuries sustained during the storms.

One man reportedly died after falling at a wrecked home the day after the storms, and an elderly woman who lived alone died after the door got stuck on a closet where she apparently had taken shelter during a tornado warning, trapping her.

Bill Estep: (606) 678-4655. Twitter: @billestep1

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