Family's minivan impaled by pole during EF4 tornado

Family's minivan impaled by pole during EF4 tornado


ATLANTA, Ga. — An Atlanta man said a metal pole impaled his family's minivan during last week's tornado outbreak in Ohio, barely missing his daughter.

WSB-TV talked to Kevin Parsons, a father of four, who was driving his family back to Atlanta on Monday after they spent the holiday weekend in Michigan.

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When they got to Dayton, Ohio, the weather got bad. They didn't know until later they had driven straight into an EF4 tornado.

Parsons said it was like something out of a movie.

"It was like a freight train just struck us," Parsons said. "I got an emergency alert, 'Tornado is in your area, seek shelter.'"

Parsons said he got off the highway to find a safe spot but the conditions got worse. He pulled into a gas station and it started to hail.

"The sky turned green, flashed green," Parsons said. "My wife and I both started to see debris. It just looked like paper things you see in the movie, just floating in the air."

Parsons said he yelled for everyone to duck while tree branches and other debris, including a metal pole, flew at and into their minivan. The glass in their windows shattered.

Parsons said his wife started screaming, "Lord, protect my babies."

"I am screaming the whole time this is going on, 'We are OK! We'll make it!' And then it stopped, and it was the longest 20 seconds of my life," Parsons said.

Troopers arrived minutes later and took the family to the hospital.

"I don't know how we walked away with just scrapes and bruises," Parsons said.

Parsons said the family was back on the road to Atlanta that night. He said they are really happy to be back home but in shock after what they went through.

"I've never heard a person saying they were in a tornado," Parsons said. "This type of stuff just came out of nowhere."