Two Kentucky deputies caught in a deadly tornado late Friday were able to ride out the violent storm before using an old door to rescue a young girl with life-threatening injuries.
As the severe weather that tore through central and southern states, Graves County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Richard Edwards and Deputy Chandler Siris were in their cruisers in Mayfield when the tornado struck, CNN reports. High winds lifted Edwards' patrol car and turned it sideways as he was trying to back up, while debris filled the air.
- Ky. Corrections Officer among over 80 Killed by Tornadoes
- Ky. Police Search for Inmate Saved from Tornado-Leveled Factory
"There was some fiberglass that went through my passenger side window that hit me and there was about an 8-foot piece of wood that came through the back of my car and pierced it," Siris said.
"We just sat there," Edwards added. "We tried to duck down and just hold on."
Once the weather died down, the deputies ran to a nearby home to take shelter. But when they reached the residence, they heard cries for help.
"It was instantaneous," Siris said about grabbing emergency gear from their cruisers and returning to the house. "As soon as we got out of our cars, we knew somebody needed help, and so we went to them."
At the house, Edwards and Siris were met by a third deputy, and they found a girl bleeding profusely. The deputies realized she needed immediate medical care, but they weren't sure if emergency crews could reach them through the storm.
"She was going into shock," Edwards said. "We applied the tourniquet. We called for medics, (but) there's no way they could have got to us, so we went outside and found an old interior panel door and we used that as a backboard. We loaded her up."
The girl was put in the third deputy's vehicle, and she was taken to the hospital. Her condition was unknown, but Edwards told CNN that she would survive.
The storm that tore through Mayfield also destroyed a candle factory where seven Graves County Jail inmates were at as part of a new work-release program for low-security, low-level offenders that started last week. Robert Daniel, a 47-year-old corrections officer who was accompanying the inmates, was killed in the destruction.