Wounded Ala. man pulls trooper from car after deadly tornado pins him inside cruiser
After suffering a broken back from being pinned himself, the man managed to crawl out of his truck and pull a trapped trooper from his cruiser
By Ashley Silver
ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. — An eerie feeling fell over a small town in Alabama just before a deadly tornado responsible for killing seven barreled into the city. Yet, through the storm’s violent onslaught, one resident’s story of perseverance and heroism managed to shine through the darkness.
As a tornado warning arrived in Alexander City, Alabama, Greg Jones, a 56-year-old cattle farmer, saw nothing but sun and blue skies, but in a matter of minutes everything would change.
WVTM News reported that Jones first suspected something was amiss when he heard an eerie sound outside of his pickup truck and noticed an Alabama State Trooper flashing his blue police lights as he whizzed past him, before quickly taking a U-turn in the opposite direction.
Suddenly, the wind picked up and a tree crashed on top of the roof of State Trooper Jake Smith’s cruiser, smashing his body into the car’s seat with glass shards surrounding him. Within seconds, Jones experienced a similar fate, with four to five trees toppling onto his vehicle, catapulted by the vicious storm.
Through the glass shards and insurmountable pain he was experiencing, Jones managed to crawl out of his truck and through his back window. Just as he’d escaped, the man glanced to his right and saw the trooper trapped inside his cruiser.
“I tried to pull the cruiser’s door open, but it was stuck,” Jones told WVTM. “I prayed and took a deep breath, placing my feet on the police cruiser. I pulled as hard as I could, but I was in so much pain. Finally, I pulled the trooper out of his car.”
Jones was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to UAB Hospital with a broken back, but he got the surprise of his life just before transitioning to the Birmingham hospital. As he sat in his hospital room waiting for the transfer, the trooper whose life he saved and his wife stepped into the room.
“Trooper Smith suffered some minor injuries, but he still wanted to check on me and thank me for helping him,” Jones said.
Jones now considers the encounter a “miracle on Elkahatchee Road.”
“I am a person of faith,” he said. “We both could have been killed, but the Lord was looking out for both of us. I have thanked the Lord many times.”