Church van saves two men after storm collapses building

Church van saves two men after storm collapses building

Posted:
The van kept a majority of the debris off Tilley and kept a large cement column from hitting his co-worker The van kept a majority of the debris off Tilley and kept a large cement column from hitting his co-worker
By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

CLINTON (WATE) - The Passtime Garage in Clinton bore the brunt of the damage from a line of severe storms that moved through Tuesday evening.

A portion of the roof was even picked up and landed on the other side of Main Street.

"It was scary event that was for sure," said Dustin Byrd.

Byrd, an employee at the shop, came back to survey the damage under daylight still unable to believe what happened. He was walking to his truck to go check on his family when the storm hit.

"It was just like an explosion," said Byrd. "Everything was falling and flying and stuff from across the street was flying from across the road there. The only thing I could think about was the two guys inside.

One of them was the owner's son David Tilley

"I really thought I was seriously injured or dead for at least five seconds," said Tilley.

He says as soon as they got the doors closed the building began to rip apart.

"That wind just kept getting stronger and stronger and I saw these doors buckle and push in so I hid and went under this van on this lift and I'm thinking if this van comes down this ain't a good spot," said Tilley.

It may have turned out to be the best spot. The van kept a majority of the debris off Tilley and kept a large cement column from hitting his co-worker.

"That would have been on him if it wasn't for this van," said Tilley.

Owner Russell Tilley says when he arrived at the garage he thought he had lost his son.

"It's just unbelievable," said Russell Tilley. "It's just a miracle that they didn't get hurt or didn't break nothing. It was just a matter of inches."

The owner says he does have insurance on the building and does plan to rebuild.

Both men were treated and released from the hospital early Wednesday morning.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.