'Pain is overwhelming': Family shattered after dad freezes to death on 56th birthday as blizzard hits Buffalo
BUFFALO, NEW YORK: William 'Romello' Clay, a 56-year-old man, was tragically found dead in the devastating winter storm in Buffalo. He has been identified as the first victim of the winter storm that affected significant parts of the country.
Clay who left for the store in extreme weather conditions on Friday, December 23, had been reported missing since then. On Christmas Eve in the late afternoon, a horrifying video of a dead man laying face down in the snow at Bailey and Kensington Avenue surfaced. Later, those remains were revealed to be Clay's, and his family begged people not to share the grisly video, as per Daily Mail. It was further revealed that the 56-year-old man died on his birthday.
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The storm killed a total of 23 people, and the streets are still pummeled by snow. Although more information about Clay's underlying medical concerns has not been disclosed, a message asking for aid that went up before the news of his death suggested that he might not have been taking his medication when he left home. Tributes poured in for the 56-year-old from across social media platforms. His sister, Sophia Clay wrote on Facebook, "Please please Share!!!!!! Our brother is missing. From area around Rounds and Bailey. He frequents 7 Eleven on Bailey. If he comes to your door please help him. Anyone with any info please call me on messenger. Please pray for his safety. He goes by the name Romello."
His son, Jules Clay wrote, "This pain is overwhelming. I can’t stop crying. Grateful I spoke to him & told him I love him yesterday." A user wrote, "Rip romello (dude who died on Kensington) prayers to your family… Bruh was just Trynna make it home,"
Another relative, Laura wrote, "My nephew's father is missing since midnight last night! He went to the store. William Clay is his name – and may not be on his medication. If you see him please give him shelter!" In a follow-up post, she wrote, "Rest in peace Billy. My heart breaks for my nephew and his family."
Sophia also started a GoFundme Campaign to meet the funeral expenses. The campaign note stated, "Hi My Name is Sophia. I am the sister of the gentleman that lost his life during the 2022 Blizzard on 12/24/2022. My brother unexpectedly lost his life on his Birthday. I am humbly asking for donations to bury my brother. And amount will be greatly appreciated. I also have a business page Sharp Edges Hair Care on Facebook. To purchase hair care items. All proceeds will go towards sending him away property. Thank you in advance."
Meanwhile, the situation in Buffalo is concerning as the region received more than 22 inches of snow on Friday, December 23. “This may turn out to be the worst storm in our community’s history,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Saturday morning. “There are still likely hundreds of people stuck in vehicles," reported New York Post.