“It was just dumb luck.”
Molly Glynn, a Chicago theatre actress who went on to play a recurring role on NBC’s Chicago Fire after appearing with renowned companies like Chicago Shakespeare and Steppenwolf, was killed this weekend when she was hit by a falling tree.
Glynn was bicycling with her husband, Joe Foust, on a trail in Erickson Woods when a fast-moving line of thunderstorms hit.
“Severe thunderstorms were moving quickly into Chicago Friday,” said weather.com meteorologist Chrissy Warrilow. “The storms were moving east at 50 mph, which was quick enough to catch anyone outdoors off guard. In addition, the storms were packing wind gusts as high as 65 mph, which is strong enough to down trees and branches.”
A strong gust of wind uprooted a tree in Glynn’s path around 3:40pm sending her to Evanston Hospital in critical condition.
“It was harsh and quick,” said husband Foust.
Glynn, riding behind her husband, shouted that they should take cover the moment before Foust heard a loud crack and saw a tree fall in his rear-view mirror. Glynn was wearing a helmet.
Foust tried calling 911 several times but could never get through. It took 20 minutes before the forest preserve police found them.
On Saturday, Foust announced the passing of his wife on his Facebook page.
Along with her husband, Glynn leaves behind two sons, ages 13 and 17, and a tight-knit Chicago theatre community.
Northlight Theatre artistic director BJ Jones said, “[Glynn was] a beautiful woman and one would think that she would only be a leading lady, but the truth is she also had great skill and breadth and scope as an actress. In a cast, she was a strong, stabilizing influence, a real pillar in the cast. And when she walked on stage, you knew you were in good hands. You knew that you were seeing the truest colors of the character and the play.”
A memorial fund has been set up in Glynn’s name to help pay for medical and funeral expenses, along with a support and trust fund for Foust and the two children.