“I didn’t think I was going to lose a husband in Calhoun Falls to a hurricane,” says wife of Upstate man killed by Irma storm

ABBEVILLE Co. (WSPA) – Words were overcome by tears at the Saxon residence in Calhoun Falls, as family members described the tragic death of Charles Robert Saxon, 57, who died after a tree branch fell on him during Tropical Storm Irma.

It was an accident that his wife, Betty Saxon, said was preventable.

She said Robert was determined to cut up a tree branch that had fallen into the roadway and blocked it off, so no one would get hurt.

She asked him to wait, but instead he called the Fire Department and suited himself up.

“He had on his big coat and grabbed his chainsaw and down there he went. And I was like, why are you doing this?” said Betty Saxon.

She and her daughter, Sonya Hicks, watched from their homes right next door from each other as Robert Saxon began chopping.

A few local firefighters came to help clear the roadway as well, but a second branch came crashing down.

“It’s like one second he’s there, and then the next second I couldn’t see him. He was gone,” said Betty Saxon.

“I was on the porch and I saw it,” said Hicks.

She said her first instinct was to try and help.

“I ran to try and get to him and they wouldn’t let me.”

Charles Robert Saxon’s step-daughter are now hoping to send a message to other’s in the Upstate outside working on tree clean up from Irma.

“Know that life can change in a half of a second,” said Hicks. “Be mindful of what you say and do to others, and always let them know you love them no matter how mad you are, or what’s going on, things happen. But when life is over, it’s gone.”

For Betty Saxon, the message was clear; let the professionals do the job.

“Don’t try and be the hero. Stay inside,” she said.

Instead of flowers, the family is asking for monetary donations to help with funeral costs.

If you’d like to donate to the family’s GoFundMe, click here:  https://www.gofundme.com/4f6gn08