March 31, 2015 11:47 PM EDT

An elderly man visiting his mother-in-law’s gravesite in a Pennsylvania cemetery was killed by her tumbling headstone on Monday.

Stephen Woytack, 74, was fatally crushed at St. Joseph Cemetery in Throop while adorning the grave for Easter, according to ABC affiliate WNEP.

“It happened so quickly,” his wife Lucy Woytack, who was with him at the time, told the Times-Tribune.

Woytack used to visit the cemetery with his wife annually and was known to the caretaker staff.

“Usually, I come down and talk to them right away; [but] I went around the other end to start picking up the Christmas ornaments, and [his wife] came running up, ‘Help me, the stone fell on Stephen,’” said cemetery caretaker Ed Kubilus.

Headstones are known to occasionally shift in springtime due to the seasonal thaw and dampness of the ground.

“It is unimaginable to think that a visit of a faithful couple to the grave of loved ones in anticipation of the celebration of Easter could have ended in such a tragic manner,” said Bishop Joseph Bambera. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and his family.”

Woytack will be buried near his mother-in-law at the cemetery, not far from where the headstone struck him.


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