Arizona man killed when tree fell on mobile home in Minnesota during storm

An Arizona couple was vacationing in Minnesota when a powerful storm toppled a tree on top of their mobile home, killing the husband.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 9:12 PM MST
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ALEXANDRIA, MN (3TV/CBS 5) - Debbie Bunney is still trying to wrap her head around the freak accident that happened on vacation in Minnesota. A powerful storm moved through the area, causing a tree to fall on top of their mobile home. She said it killed her husband instantly. Debbie and her husband Mark met in Globe, Arizona. They have been married for 43 years. They loved their hometown but decided to buy a mobile home in Alexandria, Minnesota, three years ago, where Debbie has family. They’d go there during the summers to escape the Arizona heat.

But this year, good memories turned into tragedy. What was a place of love, comfort and good memories is now ruined and destroyed. “Today was a hard day because I had to go to the funeral home and make the arrangements and I got to say goodbye to Mark. He had some very traumatic injuries so they couldn’t show his whole body, but I was able to hold his hand,” Debbie said.

On Monday night, Debbie and Mark were lying in their living room. Severe storms passed through the area and suddenly, Debbie heard a loud boom. “I heard this loud bang. It was a loud, angry crash sound and things started falling down and then the whole trailer and the whole roof fell down and I really thought we were in a tornado,” Debbie said.

Debbie got stuck under the roof and wooden beams. She looked to find Mark, only to witness her worst nightmare. “I was crying because I wanted Mark to wake up and be OK and be able to come save me because he was always so strong,” Debbie said. “I looked at the couch and all I could see was his feet and he had passed away, I could tell. I tried to get him to respond, and he couldn’t. I couldn’t reach him. He was about 3 feet away. My foot was trapped under a big wood beam.”

The tree toppled their home. “I screamed and yelled for help for about 20 to 30 minutes and finally help arrived,” Debbie said. Mark was a father to five children and had 10 grandchildren. Debbie describes him as a musical man. He loved to play piano and the guitar with his family. In addition, he coached all of his kids’ sports teams, worked with the YMCA athletic department, and was a leader at his church. “Now my partner is gone. He was my reason for staying there,” Debbie said.

Debbie tells Arizona’s Family that this freak accident comes at a very strange time. Mark was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer. Doctors told him he had only a few months left to live. In her faith, Debbie believes this could have been a part of a bigger plan. “Even though there is joy in my heart that Mark did not have to go through the torturous cancer journey that some have to go through, and he’s in heaven now, it still made me sad to see those parts of our life together and to know it meant he won’t be with me anymore,” Debbie said.

Debbie suffered some injuries herself. She is in a boot with crutches but thankful it wasn’t worse. Despite the physical pain, she says the hardest part for her has been going back to the home and going through Mark’s belongings. The family is having Mark’s memorial service on July 9 in Globe.