Hurricane Ian: Woman killed by nail on birthday trip to Florida

Francis Akhalbey October 05, 2022
Nishelle Harris-Miles was in Florida to celebrate her birthday -- Photos via New York post

An Ohio woman, who went on a birthday trip to Florida with three other women, was killed by a nail when Hurricane Ian ravaged a home they were lodging in. According to WHIO-TV, the deceased, identified as Nishelle Harris-Miles, was in Fort Myers with her sister, cousin, and friend when the hurricane tore down the roof of their Airbnb.

The fatal incident happened a week after the deceased mother turned 40. And she had traveled to the city with her three female companions to celebrate her new age.

“We talked to them Tuesday [September 27] and we were actually on the phone with them,” Harris-Miles’ cousin told the news outlet. “We were getting them in good spirits and we were telling them to be safe and all that. And then Wednesday, we just didn’t hear back from them.”

Fort Myers was one of the Florida locations the hurricane severely hit. “Went for peace and came back broken, lost, confused, guilty,” LaQuitta Heard, who went on the trip, said.

In an interview with WLWT, Chanel Maston, who is Harris-Miles’ cousin, also recalled the events leading to the tragic incident. 

“We strapped ourselves to each other with a sheet, laid on the mattress. That water came out that floor so fast, so quick. The roof was smashing us,” Maston said. “We tried to kick off the roof and lay on the mattress. It kicked off that roof, so that roof wouldn’t smash us and the roof went, and we went.”

Maston also said they tried contacting authorities for help, but nobody responded. “We started calling people before the water really started rising,” she said. “We called 911. We called 211. We called everybody to get us out of there, and nobody came.”

Maston said a nail fatally pierced her cousin as the roof continued to collapse. “She got trapped under. A nail pierced her main artery,” Maston said. “She just turned 40. Sept. 23, she just turned 40. She died nine days after her birthday.”

Maston also shared fond memories of her cousin, saying that the deceased mother “loved everything.” 

“She loved life,” Maston added.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 5, 2022


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