Grandpa dies a week after his wife following freak accident when a Denny’s sign crushed their car

Grandpa, 77, dies a week after his wife, 72, following freak accident when a giant 2,600lb Denny’s sign was blown off its post in strong winds and crushed their car

  • Lloyd Curtis, who was already suffering from a heart condition, died on Monday
  • Lillian Curtis passed away as a result of the accident on Thursday
  • The couple’s granddaughter is still being treated for her injuries

A second elderly person has died a week after his wife following a horrific freak accident after a gigantic 2,600lb Denny’s sign in Kentucky crushed their car when it was blown off its post in strong winds.

Lloyd Curtis, 77, who was already suffering from a bad heart condition, died on Monday after his wife, Lillian Curtis, 72, was immediately crushed to death in the accident on Thursday, family said.

Lillian had just collected her husband from hospice care on Thursday before the incident occurred, family told KVUE. He had undergone heart surgery at the University of Louisville Hospital three days prior to the accident, Amy Nichols, their granddaughter, added. 

The third and surviving passenger in the vehicle, the couple’s 58-year-old daughter, Mary Graham, who had been driving, is still being treated for her injuries, including a concussion and five broken ribs, according to KVUE. Elizabethtown police believe strong gusts blew the sign from its post, causing it to topple onto the car in the parking lot.

Lillian, 72, had just picked up Lloyd from the hospital following heart surgery. The 77-year-old was in hospice and was given only three months to live

Lillian, 72, had just picked up Lloyd from the hospital following heart surgery. The 77-year-old was in hospice and was given only three months to live 

The family was believed to have stopped for a meal when tragedy struck 

Lloyd was recovering from heart surgery and had been told he had three months to live, KVUE reported.

Amy Nichols, the Curtis’ granddaughter, said: ‘He told the hospice nurse last night when she asked him what he wanted, and he said: “My wife back,” and now he is dancing with Nanny.’

Nichols told WLKY that the family is still looking for answers about the tragedy. 

An autopsy will reveal whether Lloyd’s death was a direct result of the crash.

Nichols said that the family plans to hold a double burial for Lloyd and Lillian.

Lillian Mae Curtis (left) was with her husband Lloyd Eugene Curtis Sr. (right) and daughter Mary Graham when a Denny's sign fell on them, killing the grandmother.

Lillian Mae Curtis (left) was with her husband Lloyd Eugene Curtis Sr. (right) and daughter Mary Graham when a Denny’s sign fell on them, killing the grandmother. 

Family members took solace in that Lilian's death was instantaneous

Family members took solace in that Lilian’s death was instantaneous 

The family was believed to have stopped for a meal when tragedy struck

The family was believed to have stopped for a meal when tragedy struck 

A GoFundMe has raised more than $5,000 to help pay for memorial expenses.

Lillian and Lloyd’s grandchildren said they were dumbfounded by the tragedy that robbed their grandparents of the little time they had left together.

‘It’s definitely not something you can truly wrap your mind around,’ Mary Howard, Graham’s daughter, told KVUE.

‘I don’t know that the shock has worn off – or the fact that we’re going to go home and life is going to continue without her.’

Last week, Denny’s said in a statement: ‘Safety is our top priority, and we are working with the authorities to better understand what led to this situation.

‘Our thoughts are with all of those involved.’

The couple and their daughter were believed to be stopping for food on Thursday afternoon when the sign fell on their car amid 50 mph gusts in Elizabethtown.

Lillian, who was sitting in the back seat of the car, was immediately crushed by the falling sign. 

A dramatic video captured the moment the 2,600 lbs sign was knocked down by the wind. It fell and crushed the car Mrs Curtis was sat in

A dramatic video captured the moment the 2,600 lbs sign was knocked down by the wind. It fell and crushed the car Mrs Curtis was sat in 

The grandmother was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extracted from the vehicle by emergency workers. 

Nichols told WDRB News her head wound had been ‘catastrophic’ and ‘inoperable’. 

In a post on the GoFundMe page dedicated to Lillian she wrote: ‘My nanny was loved by so many people and this loss has left a hole inside us all.’

Howard told KVUE that her grandmother’s death had been ‘absolutely instantaneous and that there was no way her body could have felt any pain’. 

Lloyd had been rushed to hospital with fluid in his lungs and was waiting to be transferred back to the Jewish Hospital.

Lillian and Lloyd were married for more than 50 years and have more than a dozen great-grandchildren.

Horrifying pictures show the destroyed car after the freak accident.

Loved ones fear Lilian's husband and daughter will be traumatized as they witnessed her die

Loved ones fear Lilian’s husband and daughter will be traumatized as they witnessed her die

Elizabethtown Police spokesman Chris Denham said he was shocked by the accident.

‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ Denham said.

‘It’s certainly very windy out here and I’m certain that did have a factor and was involved in this.’

Crews removing the sign from the scene said it weighed about 2,600 pounds, approximately the weight of a small car.

Nichols paid tribute online and said she didn’t know how her family would cope without her.

‘This woman right here my beautiful nanny Lillian Mae Curtis was the matriarch of our family she was the strongest woman I have ever seen in my life.

‘I don’t know how myself or my family can even begin to live in a cold world without her in it.

‘She was my biggest supporter in life and always had me when nobody else did. I am so lost right now I can’t even function,’ Nichols said.

‘She was my Nanny, she was my second momma, she was everything to me. I would give my life to have her back.

‘I love you so much nanny. I just want to hug you again and smell your cologne and tell you I love you. How do I say goodbye to you I wish it would of been me in that backseat not you. I just want you back.’

The investigation into the deaths is ongoing. 

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