Storm Winds Hurl Tree Into House, Devin Storz Killed

  • Half of a house on the 1600 block of Freeman Drive in Pine Mountain was crushed by an 80-90 foot tree at about 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18. A young man, Devin Storz, 21 was sleeping inside. He was instantly killed by the tree. Wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour were reported in the Grapevine Monday morning.[Top: photo from Devin's MySpace page; bottom: Patric Hedlund photo for The Mountain Enterprise]

    Half of a house on the 1600 block of Freeman Drive in Pine Mountain was crushed by an 80-90 foot tree at about 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18. A young man, Devin Storz, 21 was sleeping inside. He was instantly killed by the tree. Wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour were reported in the Grapevine Monday morning.[Top: photo from Devin's MySpace page; bottom: Patric Hedlund photo for The Mountain Enterprise]

UPDATE—PINE MOUNTAIN  (Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010, 12:38 p.m.)—Friends are sending memories of Devin Storz. You are welcome to add your own by clicking below or sending to Editor@MountainEntreprise.com (Subject: Devin Storz).

BENEFIT JAM: The January 24 Sunday Jam at the Pine Mountain Clubhouse will be a benefit for the Storz family. A condolence book will be available to sign and contributions to the family will be accepted. Food will be provided. The Jam will be in the Pine Mountain Clubhouse lounge from 2-5 p.m. (or 6 p.m. if the family is still in need).

ANOTHER FUNDRAISING EVENT: Jeff Anderson, actor and screenwriter, played Randal Graves in the Kevin Smith films Clerks and Clerks II. He shares his memory of Devin and a request to raise funds for the Storz Family fund to rebuild their home and their lives.

Anderson writes: Since doing Clerks way back whenever, it amazes me how many strangers approach me and tell me they are fans. About a month ago, while watching football at a bar, a young guy sent me a beer. He came over to tell me how much he loved all Kevin’s movies and he just wanted to say "thanks for the entertainment." This guy’s name was Devin and he handled my gentle ribbing of his San Francisco 49ers jersey with a smile.

I ran into Devin again a week or so later and we wound up playing a drinking game with a few of his friends. The game was fun and so were Devin and his friends. At one point during the game, Devin left the table. When he came back, I asked where he had gone and he said he went to the ATM. I shot back "You went A__To Mouth?" He got a charge out of that. He laughed and put his head on the table and rolled his eyes as if to say, "I can’t believe Randal just said that." Devin was a good kid. He liked to laugh and was quick to trade barbs.

I was sad to learn that Devin Storz, 21, was killed while in his bed sleeping; a tree crashed through his family’s house. Please help the Storz family rebuild their home and their lives after this awful tragic accident.

Please donate to Devin’s family’s fund. We are offering signed pages from my highlighted CLERKS II shooting script in exchange to those who donate. There are 103 pages. The per page donation is $10, but feel free to give more.

* Step 1) Donate. Go to Paypal and send a donation. The PayPal address is: giftfordevin@hotmail.com
* Step 2) Send a copy of your PayPal receipt as well as your mailing address (for signed script page delivery) to ming@viewaskew.com
Thanks for your help. The best thing you can do to help us out is to get the word out. Tell your friends and family about it, and encourage them to donate as well. Every bit helps.

UPDATE—PINE MOUNTAIN (Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010, 6:20 p.m.)—Friends are sending memories of Devin Storz. You are welcome to add your own by clicking below or sending to Editor@MountainEntreprise.com (Subject: Devin Storz).

Alicia Rogers writes of Devin Storz:
The truest example of love that I have ever seen in life was through Devin Storz. I cannot express adequately the amount of ‘goodness’ that exuded from all of his actions. I met Devin at El Tejon School in sixth grade. We were not very close until years later, when he helped me through some of the most difficult times I faced in my adolescence. When I left Frazier Park to attend Valencia High School, Devin was one of the few people who bothered to stay in touch with me. He always had a kind word and an open ear for me to pour my thoughts into. Regardless of differences in opinions, he treated everyone he knew with respect and gentle acceptance. I admired him as a leader, not because he wanted to be one, merely because a world where more people shared Devin’s humane characteristics would be a beautiful place to live.
Sleep peacefully, Devin. We all will miss you.

UPDATE—PINE MOUNTAIN (Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010, 3:10 p.m.)—Friends are sending memories of Devin Storz. You are welcome to add your own by clicking below or sending to Editor@MountainEntreprise.com (Subject: Devin Storz).

Leslie Powell from the San Fernando Valley writes:
It has been some time since I lived on the hill. It is amazing that even ten years after graduating and moving away that some memories are truly etched into my mind. When I heard the news of Devin’s departure I could not help but feel an overwhelming since of sadness. There are people you come across in life that truly touch your heart. Devin is one of this miraculous individuals.
I can remember him as a small boy. My mother use to own the Cafe Condor, and he would come in with a handful of change asking for a candybar. She would take the change from his small hand, count it out on the counter and give him the candy of his choice. She would also hand him back all the change he gave her.
Devin would give her this smile that could heal the world. This small exchange would happen almost every Saturday. Both are in heaven now and their spirits shine through the sun onto all of us.
Devin loved life and loved to make people smile. He had a heart that could contain the universe and he will be remembered for all time.
Leslie Powell
(My mother was Patti Fields. My mother and stepfather owned the cafe in 1995-1997. Stepfather is Alex Fields. Alex and Kip have been very close friends for almost 20 years. He was also on the scene that morning).

This comes from Beverly Boyles:
A remembrance of Devin; Devin’s dad and mom have been friends of ours for 15 years. One time about 12 years ago, the family had two female doggies that gave birth to 21 puppies between the two…Devin, his brother Ian, and about 6 of their friends were dispatched to find homes for these 21 puppies…they came by our home and asked my husband Graham if we wanted one of these 21 puppies…I was not home at the time so do not know what he said, but when I was driviing up Freeman later that day, 6 boys surrounded my car with Devin in the lead, saying "Bev, Bev, stop…Graham said you can have one of the puppies…which one do you want?" And Devin said, "Graham picked this one out for you"…he then put the puppie through the window of the car, all smiles…I still see that Devin face in my mind….Oh! Devin, we shall miss you, we shall miss you!!! Bev and Graham…

UPDATE—PINE MOUNTAIN (Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010, 5:55 a.m.)—Friends have flooded forward to surround Kip Storz and hold vigil with him while waiting for the return of his wife, Toni. About 50-70 people stayed through the day with him at a friend’s large house where he was taken shivering and in shock. Some went back to the destroyed home to place tarps to secure it from the weather. Others helped get him warm, brought food, made music, talked and cried into the night.

Barbara Moritz-Stark wrote a message here at this website: "I just would like to add to anything written about the untimely death of Devin Storz on 1/18, as he was one of my students and a family friend. Devin was an intelligent, creative and charismatic young man. He graduated high school from an independent study program through Homeschool Outpost in 2006."

Others who would like to add a note to the family or a note about Devin are welcome to click below to comment (or write editor@MountainEnterprise.com, Subject: Devin Storz).

UPDATE–PINE MOUNTAIN (Monday, Jan. 18, 2010, 5 p.m.)—The mother of Devin Storz, 21 has now been notified of his death, and his name is being released to the public. His father, Kip Storz, was home at the time a powerful gust of wind blew a 90-foot pine tree through the roof. It crushed half the house, falling directly onto the area where the younger Storz was sleeping. Kip Storz is staying with friends, awaiting return of his wife who was in New York with family at the time of the accident.

About nine Kern County firefighters, two or three Kern County Sheriff’s and a California Highway Patrol officer were dispatched to try to help Monday morning. The KCFD paramedic from Pine Mountain Club Station 58 pronounced Devin Storz deceased from his injuries at the scene. The coroner has now confirmed the cause of death. The incident occurred at about 9:28 a.m., official records state.

PINE MOUNTAIN (Monday, Jan. 18, 2010, 10 a.m.)—A sudden high gust of wind brought down an 80 to 90 foot pine tree this morning at about 9:30 a.m., crushing half of a Pine Mountain home and instantly killing a young man, 21 who was sleeping inside. Firefighters from Station 58 rushed to the scene in the 1600 block of Freeman Drive. They secured the home and helped to retrieve the man’s body, which was pinned beneath the tree. Neighbors such as Brad Beers rushed to assist the father, who was also home at the time. The young man’s mother, who is out of state, has not yet been contacted. Names are being withheld until other family members have been notified. The devastated father is waiting for the coroner to arrive, and is being assisted by friends.

LEBEC—In Lebec, meanwhile, heavy rain and winds have brought down power lines in Los Padres Estates. An emergency medical assist call for a boy in Lebec is unrelated to the power outage.

The Grapevine is open but caution is required for driving in storm conditions. Please drive slowly. Hydroplaning is a hazard in rain and gusty wind conditions.

This is part of the January 15, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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