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BWC: Iowa deputy forced to ride out tornado after tree falls on cruiser

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Dollen was caught in the storm while working to evacuate people and horses staying at an equestrian campground

By Joanna Putman

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Iowa — Body camera video shows the moment an Iowa Deputy was caught outside during a severe storm when a tree fell on his cruiser, WOWT reported.

A Montgomery County Sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Dollen was caught in the tornado while assisting campers during severe weather on May 21 in Red Oak, Iowa, according to the report. After ensuring the campers reached shelter, Dollen attempted to aid some horses but found himself in the tornado’s path.

Body-worn camera footage shows Dollen maneuvering the vehicle away from flying debris as the winds intensify. The video captures the moment the tree fell on the vehicle, forcing Dollen to stay inside while the tornado passed overhead.

“Sgt. Dollen rode out the tornado in his vehicle while it passed over the top of him,” the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office stated in a Facebook post. The footage reveals Dollen holding tightly to the steering wheel, breathing heavily as the storm raged.

“I put the vehicle in park, my foot on the brake, and grabbed the steering wheel. I kind of relate it to an amusement park ride where you are anticipating what’s going to happen,” he told WOWT.

All of the campers managed to escape the severe weather unharmed, according to officials.