Man says goodbye to mom during tornado

VILONIA, Ark. - An Arkansas man was killed when a devastating tornado ripped through his neighborhood last week. But before he died he took the time to tell his mother goodbye.

All Regina Wood could think to do was tell her son, Jeffrey Hunter, he would be okay.

"He knew how bad it was, he says it's going to be a direct hit," she said.

From her home in Beebe 20 miles away from her son in Vilonia, Wood could only update Hunter through text on where the April 27 EF-4 tornado was headed. It was going straight toward Jeffrey and he knew it, telling his mom goodbye.

"I have a text on my phone as the tornado was hitting, 'Goodbye mama. I love you,'" said Wood.

Minutes later, a few homes down from Hunter on Clover Ridge Drive, Lyman Watkins had to crawl out from the closet he, his wife and five dogs were hiding in.

"All you could hear was horns going off and people hollering help, help," he said.

It didn't take long for Watkins to find someone.

"I made my way, he was at that house right there," said Watkins.

Lying there unconscious on the ground was Woods' son. She hadn't heard anything from him since his last message.

"I kept saying are you okay? Are you okay? Let me know. Let me know and no answer," said Wood.

Hunter wasn't the only person killed in his Vilonia neighborhood. There are flags up for each one of the victims.

Despite, however the terror of losing her only son, Woods is comforted in the thought that Hunter, in the midst of panic and fright, thought to tell his mom goodbye.

"That was the most precious thing a son can do for a mother," said Wood.


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