Coroner: S. Illinois tornado death toll rises to 7

March 8, 2012 - 2:25 PM

HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in southern Illinois say the death toll from the tornado that devastated Harrisburg last week has risen to seven.

Saline County Coroner Doug Watson says 70-year-old retired coal miner Donald Smith of Harrisburg died Wednesday night at a hospital in Evansville, Ind., from injuries suffered in the Feb. 29 tornado. Smith's wife remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Six other people died in or shortly after the tornado, which authorities say was 200 yards wide and packed winds of 170 mph. Most of the victims, including the Smiths, lived along a street that took the brunt of the storm.

Smith's funeral arrangements are pending with Vickery Funeral Home in Equality.