Greater love has no one than this, to lay down his life for his friends. –John 15:13 Don Lansaw 31
Don Lansaw 31 died saving his wife, Bethany Lansaw 25
“He just has so much love in his heart and you know, people keep saying that he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, but if I could…if I could have taken twice as much damage just to have him alive, I would have. He got on top of me to take the brunt of it. And he’s my hero.” – Bethany Lansaw, tornado survivor
One second Skyular was safe at home with his mom and dad and grandparents. Then, in the swirl of an EF5 tornado, the house at 26th Street and Maiden Lane was reduced to sticks.
He was ripped out of his mother's arms by the tornado. Mom flew. Dad flew. Grandparents were tossed 100 feet away, dropping onto wet grass. Faces were gashed, limbs broken. Skyular vanished.
Skyular’s parents, Cord Logsdon, 21, and C.J. Tate, 18, were in the hospital when they got the news that their baby was missing. Cadaver dogs searched for days, being thrown off by constant rain during search efforts.
David Vanderhoofven’s cat, Harley, returned to him from beneath the wreckage of their home two days after the tornado. But his wife and son are gone forever.
David Vanderhoofven returned home just after the storm. He says he didn’t recognize anything until he realize he was two blocks from his house. Shocked, he then realized that there were no houses and began to panic. It took him ten minutes to get through 2 block of debris and reach the remains of his house where he says he could hear his wife, Dee, crying and shouting, “Help me!” under the rubble.
Unable to lift the heavy pieces, he left to find help. After returning with an ambulance 20 minutes later, he could no longer hear his wife. Two and a half hours later, rescue workers pulled his blue baby boy from the wreckage and attempted CPR. Pronounced dead, he was wrapped and handed to his father who held him as they searched for his wife. Vanderhoofven was made to turn away, as they pulled out the body of his wife.
Darian “Dee”, 44, and son Joshua, 14 months, are survived by husband and father David Vanderhoofven
Dean Wells, 59, gave his life ushering others to safety at Home Depot.
Wells was working at Home Depot on Range Line Road and 20th Street when the tornado struck. He shepherded co-workers and customers to the safest parts of the store, returning again and again to guide people to safety until a wall collapsed on him.
Grace and her 12 year old son, Malachi, were in Harmony Heights Baptist Church near the corner of 20th and Indiana. As the tornado drew near, Grace shielded her son and the building began falling down around them.
What remains of Harmony Heights Baptist Church
First responders came to the scene and heard Malachi yelling for help, they found him in his mother's arms. Grace Aquino saved her son by bearing the load of the building that had fallen on top of them.
Christopher Don Lucas, 27, died saving 19 others.
Lucas was a manager of Pizza Hut near the corner of 20th and Rangeline. As the storm worsened, he sent his 4 employees and 15 patrons into the walk-in cooler for safety. However, the door to the cooler would not latch.
Christopher tied a bungee cord to the door to try to keep it closed and wrapped the other end around his arm. As the tornado passed over, it ripped off the door and sucked Christopher out of the cooler. Christopher Lucas' bravery saved everyone else in that cooler.
Christopher Lucas is survived by his wife, Angel Lucas and his two daughters, Chloe Alexandra Lucas and Emily Kay Lucas.