Storm Doris has claimed its first victim after a woman died when she was hit by a piece of roof the “size of a coffee table”.
The pedestrian was confirmed dead at the scene outside Starbucks in Wolverhampton city centre after suffering “very serious head injuries”, West Midlands Ambulance Service said.
Rebecca Davis, a 40-year-old teacher from Wolverhampton, walked past shortly after the incident at around midday and saw a woman receiving CPR.
She said the woman - who looked to be aged “between 20 and 30” - appeared to have been hit by something resembling a piece of roof which had fallen off a building nearby.
“I think the wind broke it and caused it to fall. I don’t know if it was hit by something else or just the wind did it,” she told the Press Association.
She said that while the woman had been hit “right outside Starbucks”, it was unclear if the debris had fallen from the coffee shop or from a nearby building.
“I don’t think anyone else was hurt. It was a big piece about the size of a coffee table but I think it just hit her,” Mrs Davis said.
West Midlands Police said officers were called to a “serious incident” in Dudley Street at around 11.50am and that it is “believed to be related to Storm Doris”.
A spokeswoman said roads in the area are closed and “motorists and pedestrians are being advised to avoid the city centre”.
West Midlands Ambulance Service said on arrival at the scene “crews found a woman who had suffered very serious head injuries”.
“Sadly, it quickly became apparent that there was nothing that could be done to save her and she was confirmed dead at the scene,” a spokesman added.
With Storm Doris battering large swathes of the country, the woman’s death comes as gusts of almost 95mph have been recorded in parts of the UK.
So far, the weather system has brought down trees, grounded planes, forced the closure of the Port of Liverpool and caused the cancellation of Coronation Street filming.
Amber warnings predicting strong winds and heavy rain are in place for North Wales, the Midlands, the East and the North West and have been extended to include the London area.
The Met Office said gusts of 60mph-70mph were likely to be seen in affected areas, with 70mph-80mph expected on coasts and hills.
A top wind speed of 94mph was recorded in Capel Curig, North Wales, on Thursday morning.