97-year-old twins leave world as they entered it: together

This undated photo provided by the Haley family shows Jean Haley, of Barrington, R.I., when she was about 25 years old. Jean and her twin 97-year-old sister Martha Williams froze to death Saturday, March 4, 2017, after they fell outside Jean’s home in Barrington and were stranded there during one of the coldest nights of the winter. A neighbor found the twin sisters the next morning. (Haley family via AP)

BARRINGTON, R.I. (AP) — Ninety-seven-year-old twins Jean Young Haley and Martha Young Williams left the world as they entered it: together.

The two women died over the weekend in freezing temperatures after both fell and became stranded outside Haley’s home following an evening out. Police say they believe Williams fell as she walked to her car Friday evening, and Haley fell as she tried to get inside to call for help.

Williams’ daughter, Susan, said Monday that she takes solace in knowing the twins entered and left life together, with one trying to save the other. She said it would have been incredibly hard for either sister to live without the other.

“It’s powerful, it’s astounding, it’s stunning,” she said. “And regardless of the pain we’re all feeling, at least they’re together.”

A neighbor found the sisters Saturday morning. Overnight temperatures in the area had dropped to as low as 11 degrees, with wind chills as low as minus 8.

Though twins, the two women had quite different personalities, Susan Williams said. She described her mother as pure and innocent, while her aunt could be more mischievous and humorous. They were both fun-loving and enjoyed dining at local restaurants together, where everybody got to know them.