Clayton County

Riverdale man killed after tree fell on top of him during Monday storms

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A man was killed during Monday’s storms after a tree fell on top of him in Clayton County.

Family members confirmed Harvey Hillman Sr.’s death to Channel 2′s Tom Jones. Hillman was leaving his house in Riverdale to head to work around 6 a.m. when strong storms moved through.

“I’ll tell anybody if you have trees over your house, cut them,” Hillman’s stepdaughter Mavis Freeman told Jones.

Freeman said that her 65-year-old stepfather never made it out of his driveway on Bay Court. As he walked to his truck to go to work during a severe storm, a tree came crashing down and killed him.

“My brothers came out to retrieve him from up under the tree,” Freeman said.

The family tried CPR for 30 minutes, but it was too late.


The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down at the same time in the area. Hillman lived southeast of the tornado and it was straight line winds that likely blew the tree down.

Over on Bethaven Road, the tornado knocked down dozens of trees on four homes. Clayton County Fire Chief Landry Merkison said damages looked to be about $500,000 in structural damage.

Della Davis woke up and heard the winds howling and trees hitting her home.

“The first thing I said was, ‘Lord please take care of us,’” she told Jones.

Five trees landed on her home. Davis is thankful her special needs son got out of his room before a tree came crashing through his roof.

“The tree came through the wall in his room right by the head of his bed,” she said.