British Columbia

B.C. woman killed by tree toppled during windstorm was checking on homeless friends

Family members say 28-year-old Melissa Joe of the Cowichan Tribes was a good Samaritan checking on friends when she was killed by a falling tree.

28-year-old Melissa Joe of the Cowichan Tribes had a young daughter

The person who was killed by a falling tree near Duncan on Dec. 20 has been identified as 28-year-old Melissa Joe. (CHEK)

Family members say 28-year-old Melissa Joe of the Cowichan Tribes was a good Samaritan checking on friends when she was killed by a falling tree.

Joe was in a tent with four other people in a homeless encampment south of Duncan when the windstorm toppled the tree on Dec. 20. 

Chief William Seymour said as part of Cowichan mourning custom, the family would not be speaking publicly, although Joe's father did grant him permission to tell people about Melissa.

"She had a big heart," said Seymour. "She was always concerned about how they were doing and that everything was OK health-wise and that they were getting something to eat."

Joe was the only casualty in the devastating wind storm that caused widespread damage and power outages across the South Coast.

Joe herself was not homeless. She is survived by a seven-year-old daughter.

Chief Seymour says she will be remembered as an avid volunteer with a giving heart. 

"It's going to be a big loss for the community," he said. 

With files CHEK News

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