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Eagle Lake Baptist Church to host benefit for Milburn and Sanchez family



A tree on the house at Eagle Lake. Photo by David Day
A tree on the house at Eagle Lake. Photo by David Day

Eagle Lake Baptist Church is hosting a benefit for Raul & Verda Sanchez and Mackenzie Milburn on Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both families lost their homes after storms ripped through the Eagle Lake community.

Mackenzie Milburn

Milburn lost her trailer and was hurt in the May storms. As the harsh weather pushed through the Eagle Lake community, a large tree was knocked onto a home, trapping her inside.

Units from Bovina, Culkin, NorthEast and Eagle Lake along with Rescue, a FireMedic unit, FireBoss Jerry Briggs and Sheriff Martin Pace all responded. As the first of those units fought their way through the storm on 61 North, they finally made it to 465. As they raced down 465 they were stopped dead in their tracks by a large tree that had fallen across the highway.

At the scene, Eagle Lake Fire Chief Chris Libbey showed up and took control of the situation. He quickly assessed the best they could do was to keep her calm and not move a thing until the crews arrived with the proper equipment to safely removed her.

The scene this morning. Most didn't know the car was also lost in the accident. Photo by David Day

The scene at Eagle Lake. Most didn’t know the car was also lost in the accident. Photo by David Day

From the first 911 call to the first rescue unit arrival took over 45 minutes. During that chaotic time, Libbey directed resources and neighbors showed up to help away from the scene and had them directing traffic and removing vehicles from the single-lane roadway so the emergency units could reach the scene. After overcoming all the obstacles, the first properly equipped unit to arrive, Rescue, began to assess and within minutes the rest of the cavalry arrived.

After an hour and a half of being trapped, Mackenzie was placed on a basket stretcher and carried out to the waiting ambulance. She was then treated at UMMC.

Raul & Verda Sanchez

Raul and Verda Sanchez had a tree fall on their house last week.

Verda Sanchez, 56, was alerted to the weather by her daughter, Anna Sanchez, 36. “Look at the wind, she said. It was blowing with the storm and then it changed and was blowing against it, this way,” motioned Sanchez. “Then, I don’t know exactly what happened but I heard a pop and then a crack. The house started to lean that way and my daughter was trapped. I stepped to get her and the floor was loose so I stepped back. She was knocked out after the kitchen ceiling fell on her. I knew I had to get her out so I pulled her,” said Sanchez.

The kitchen of the elevated house is near the front, on the second floor, near the street. Anna was in the kitchen and her mother pulled her towards the bedroom nearest the street at the back of the house. “Anna came out of it and immediately asked about her daughter, Jasmine, 10, who was at the church. I had to repeat several times Jasmine was okay and at church then Anna told me she couldn’t see.”

A tree on the house at Eagle Lake. Photo by David Day

A tree on the Sanchez home at Eagle Lake. Photo by David Day

After pulling Anna to the bedroom, Verda and Anna were trapped in the room nearest the street. A power line was under the tree and still charged creating a dangerous situation.

Chris Libbey and Ann Dahl with the Eagle Lake Fire Department arrived shortly after to assist. Libbey removed a ladder from the firetruck and helped mother and daughter, along with their pet rabbit, from the structure. Once Anna was out there was an obvious injury to her forehead where debris from the kitchen hit her and knocked her out.

A helping hand

Both homes were a complete loss. Eagle Lake Baptist Church is extending its help to these two families by hosting a benefit on Aug. 6.

Chicken spaghetti plates will be sold for $12. The church will also be hosting a baked goods sale.

Any donations can be mailed to:

Eagle Lake Baptist Church
15481 Hwy 465
Vicksburg, MS 39183

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