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Man hospitalized after being hit by limb of falling tree
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Relatives and neighbors watch as Hall County firefighters prepare Dwight Dupree for transport to the hospital after a tree fell on him in his Rolling Ridge Drive front yard. Several relatives and neighbors said Dupree, who often sat in the tree’s shade, pushed his young niece to safety before being struck by one of the smaller branches, cutting his back. - photo by NAT GURLEY

A Gillsville man was hospitalized for evaluation Wednesday after a tree limb fell on him in his front yard — but not before he pushed his niece out of harm’s way, relatives and friends said.

Dwight Dupree, of Rolling Ridge Drive, often sat under the tree for its ample shade, said his nephew and a neighbor.

“He was sitting under the tree and heard a big crack,” said Donta Ware, Dupree’s nephew who lives nearby and arrived minutes after his uncle was struck. “He had his niece with him and tried to push her out of the way — she’s OK, but the tree caught him across the small of the back.”

Dupree was still in the hospital as of this afternoon but listed in "satisfactory" condition.

Ware said it appeared one of the tree’s smaller limbs struck Dupree, making a “big gash in the small of his back.”

Dupree’s niece is 6 or 7, Ware said.

“Every day they sit out under the tree and try to enjoy the shade,” Ware said. “It was a rotten tree — I knew one day it would fall. I feel like my uncle saved her life.”

Dupree was concious and moving afterward, Ware said.

The falling tree knocked down a power line.

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