Alice Barr

51-Year-Old Man Visiting Canton for a Wedding Among Tornado Victims Killed

Crews are still working in Van Zandt County to restore power, patch roofs and comfort families who lost loved ones in the string of tornadoes that touched down Saturday night.

The Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace told NBC 5 that a 51-year-old man was killed on a property on FM 2301 southwest of Canton. He was in town from Corsicana for a wedding when the tornado hit.

A large home on the grounds was destroyed but much of the wedding party made it into the basement of the house and survived.

There is wreckage all around, including downed power lines and a red pickup truck that flipped over and landed in a ditch, with a grandfather and two very scared little boys inside.

"All the windows shattered and me and my brother were hollering because there was branches coming in through the window hitting my head," said Caden Moran.

His mother Stephanie Moran added, "I was shaken. I can't stop shaking. I'm gonna start crying right now thinking about it. I'm so glad that they're OK."    

The boys walked away with a few scratches. Their grandfather broke some ribs.

The path of destruction stretched for miles, with varying levels of damage. One home on Highway 198 was destroyed, down to the final bricks in an outline of where the one-story house once stood.

It was the first home for the newlywed couple who lived there. They were just married three months ago. All their wedding gifts are gone, along with their car that landed smashed and crumpled on a pile of trees and a 40-foot shipping container that no one has seen any sign of.

But despite the wreckage, all they feel is gratitude.

“So glad we weren’t here,” said Justin Duke. “By the grace of God we weren’t, because looking at this, there’s no way we would have survived. God had other plans for us.”

Electrical crews were still working at 10:30 Sunday night. For now, they’re not even trying to restore power to homes. They’re just trying to get power lines picked up off the ground and in some cases replace the poles themselves that were pulled out of the ground, many tossed so far they can't even find them.

Contact Us