Lottie Michelle Belk is Killed by Umbrella in Virginia Beach

We know the beach can be a dangerous place and there are plenty of hazards at hotels and swimming pools. However, a freak accident in which a woman was killed by a beach umbrella that was blown by a gust of wind has shocked Virginia Beach.

My condolences are with the family of 5-year-old Lottie Michelle Belk, of Chester, Virginia.

Although this event may be seen as a freak accident, as an experienced Virginia Beach premises liability lawyer, I know somebody is usually to blame when it comes to tragedies of this nature.

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Police said Ms. Belk was killed when an anchored umbrella hit her in the chest on the Oceanfront Wednesday.

Police said they received an emergency call around 5:07 p.m. for a woman who was suffering from a cardiac arrest on the beach at 33rd Street.

The umbrella was meant to be anchored. However, a gust of wind picked it up and blew it across the beach, hitting Ms. Belk. These beach umbrellas are normally heavy and can be very dangerous weapons if picked up by the wind. Last year, we wrote about the dangers of umbrellas and patio equipment. Clearly, there was a failure by the party responsible for securing the umbrella. Winds were gusting at 20 to 25 mph. These are gusty but not abnormal conditions for Virginia Beach.

Ms. Belk was treated by medics for a life-threatening injury on the beach. Tragically, she succumbed to her injuries later at a local hospital.

Police are investigating the incident. There is no evidence of foul play, according to police.

Reports of this incident leave a lot of unanswered questions, in particular, the question about what entity was responsible for securing the umbrella.

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers we have a team that is dedicated to premises liability cases like this across Virginia. If you are injured at a hotel, a restaurant or on someone else’s property, the landowner, building owner, a company or someone else may be to blame.

See more about premises liability cases here. If you have lost a loved one due to the fault of another party, you often have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.

Griff O'Hanlon


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