LA PORTE -

A La Porte area woman doing yard work is hospitalized after she was hit on the head by a large fallen tree branch.

Mike Pruden said he was next door visiting a friend and raced over when he heard the woman's grandson, Justin, screaming.

It happened around 8:45 a.m. CST.

Pruden applied pressure with a rag to slow the heavy bleeding on her head until paramedics arrived.

''She had bled quite a bit,'' said the 37-year-old Pruden, who lives just north of La Porte. 

Loretta Fanselow, 69, was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in South Bend where she was listed Monday afternoon in serious condition.

Pruden said Loretta, her husband, Jim, and their grandson were working in the backyard at the couple's home at 3851 S., Wayne Dr. just north of Kingsbury.

He said the roughly 15 to 20 foot long branch six inches in diameter that fell on the woman had mostly broken away from the tree sometime during the winter and was
dangling straight up and down above the ground.

Pruden said the breezy conditions must have caused the limb to fall on Mrs. Fanselow, who had a large laceration on the left side of her head.

She also appeared to have a broken right ankle, which was put in a splint by paramedics
before driving her away in an ambulance, he said.

Pruden said Mrs. Fanselow was lapsing in and out of consciousness and talking to some
degree but having problems with her memory while he was tending to her.

''She was not 100-percent coherent,'' Pruden said.

Pruden said he did his best to calm down and comfort her husband and grandson, who
were very distraught.

''I tried my best to take control of the situation,'' said Pruden.

Nicknamed the ''Big Fan,'' Mr. Fanselow is well known in the community for his many years of umpiring Babe Ruth baseball and formerly being the color commentator for La Porte Slicers baseball games on local radio station WCOE.