A 14-year-old girl was killed overnight by a falling tree after Hurricane Laura made landfall. It happened in the city of Leesville, Louisiana, about 100 miles inland from the coast.
As the storm barreled down central Louisiana, Cynthia Miller was doing what she loved most: Reading.
Cynthia, her two sisters and their parents rode out the hurricane in their parent’s bedroom. Their town of Leesville was not under evacuation and family thought it would be safe.
Miller Family / Handout
“She was really smart. She wanted to go to Harvard and be a microbiologist,” Cynthia’s sister Nellie told CBS News. “It was scary, dark. It was terrifying … We went to ride out the storm in our parents’ room. And um, everyone was sitting in there and the tree — it came down.”
What’s left of that bedroom tells the rest of this story.
“I walked and tried to find Cindy cause she wasn’t talking. And I tried to wake her up and she wouldn’t wake up,” Nellie said.
Cynthia was pinned and help was unavailable. The 2-mile stretch of road to their house was covered in trees. The sheriff’s office spent five hours on foot using chainsaws to create a pathway.
The Millers don’t have much money, but in their corner of this bayou, they had family and a dream now shattered.