MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The tornado that tore through north Minneapolis has claimed two lives — one man died after a tree fell on his vehicle and a second victim collapsed while assisting in cleanup efforts.
Fifty-nine-year-old Floyd David Whitfield was killed a few blocks from his north Minneapolis home after his car was hit by a tree. The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said his cause of death was blunt-force head and neck injuries.
Neighbors saw Whitfield in his mini van that was essentially blocked in by falling trees. Witnesses said he was apparently waiting out the storm, before the tree went through the windshield.
“He still had a seat belt on and everything,” said Torrey Hudson, who saw Whitfield’s van.
The medical examiner ruled the death accidental.
A second man collapsed and died after using a chain saw to help clear a tree from a blocked roadway in north Minneapolis.
Rob MacIntyre was the president of the Raptor Resource Project of Decorah, Iowa. Friends say he suffered a massive heart attack during cleanup efforts.
“I saw him as he lay on the ground,” said Jason Gaines, MacIntyre’s friend. “I think he laid down knowing that, that something was happening.”
Bob Anderson, director of the Raptor Resource Project, said MacIntyre was instrumental in establishing the “Eagle Cam” that captured national attention in Decorah.
MacIntyre also developed the solar powered camera system for the Fort. St. Vrain bald eagle nest and oversaw many of the Xcel Energy falcon banding events.
“There would be no Raptor Resource Project if it were not for Rob,” Anderson said.
Doctors at North Memorial treated 42 people for injuries, most were minor injuries. No tornado victims remain at HCMC.