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'He Was A Very Wonderful Man': Family In Mourning After Tragic Death Of Fairfield, Conn. Man Killed In Storm

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) - People in parts of our area are cleaning up from deadly and dangerous storms.

Trees were ripped out of the ground in Commack, Long Island.

In Fairfield, a man was killed in his car.

Heartbroken family and friends comforted each other outside the home of David Schmerzler.

"He was actually a very wonderful young man in every sense of the word," his mother Barbara Schmerzler  told CBS2's Hazel Sanchez.

The 54-year-old father of two was spending a beautiful Sunday with his wife and daughter, when the storm rolled in and abruptly changed everything.

"As they were heading home from the beach to close the windows because of the rain, they pulled into the driveway. The tragedy struck," Barbara said.

A massive tree limb fell onto his car, smashing through the windshield, killing him.

"The squall, which I'm calling it, was intense. And it took me by surprise even though I was in my own home," Barbara said. "And the phone rang. It was Emily, my granddaughter. And she was hysterical, telling me that 'Daddy is dead, daddy is dead.'"

Crews have since removed the tree that was right outside the Schmerzlers' home on Sturges Highway. A team is also cleaning up the trees blown over righ out Niel McCoy's Fairfield home.

"It last for about 15 minutes. And it was several gusts, one of which took down these... and at the park up there took down more. So it was almost like a straight line. It was like a microburst," McCoy said.

Fairfield police say they responded to countless calls for downed trees and power lines. The worst of it was on Old Post Road.

"We had a large tree come down in front of the Town Hall that snapped nine utility poles. It basically shut down the beach area of power," said Capt. Robert Kalamaras of Fairfield Police.

Some poles crushed several cars with people on board. Surprisingly, everyone walked away without serious injuries.

The Schmerzlers tragically did not share the same fate. David's mother says this will not be the memory they will hold on to.

"He has left them many, many fond memories. He's left all of us. Many, many fond memories. And I think that's what we'd like to dwell on rather than the obscene tragedy that took him from us," Barbara said.

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