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'One of a kind' South Carolina woman dies after she was impaled by a beach umbrella

The 63-year-old woman was at Garden City Beach Wednesday afternoon when the umbrella was carried by the wind and struck her, officials said.
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A 63-year-old South Carolina woman died from chest trauma on Wednesday after a beach umbrella that was carried by wind struck and impaled her, according to the Horry County Coroner's office.

Tammy Perreault was at Garden City Beach, about 20 minutes south of Myrtle Beach, when she was injured early Wednesday afternoon.

Tammy Perreault, left.
Tammy Perreault, left.via WMBF

Her husband of 27 years, Mike Perreault, and four of their friends, were with her when it happened.

"It was a regular breezy day, no other umbrellas or beach blankets or anything got foiled," he told NBC News. "Just this one umbrella."

The umbrella came down the beach from about 40 feet away and everyone ducked, except for Tammy, Perreault recalled.

"It went through her arm into her rib cage," he said. "She bled out in maybe 30 or 40 seconds."

Tammy was transported to an area emergency room where she died less than an hour after the accident from chest trauma, Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard told NBC News.

Perreault met Tammy 29 years ago at a friend's football party, he told NBC News.

"She was one of a kind," he said tearfully. "After a couple of years, I asked her to marry me. We got married at a beach in Jamaica."

The couple, originally from the East Coast, moved down to Surfside Beach, South Carolina about 11 years ago. Tammy had just recently retired at 62, Perreault said.

"It was just her and I all the time," he said. "Our friends said if you saw Mike, you saw Tammy, and if you saw Tammy, you saw Mike. Tammy loved everybody, she never had a bad word for anybody at all."

The Horry County Police Department didn't respond to NBC News request for comment regarding if anyone was questioned in connection with the incident.