Van Family Finds Dog Missing Since Sunday's EF-3 Tornado

Family car toppled, dog lost in Van EF-3 tornado

A Van, Texas, family who rode out an EF-3 tornado with winds of 140 mph found an unexpected blessing when they returned to their neighborhood Tuesday.

Andy and Brandi Bouchillon live off Bois D’Arc Street. When the storm sirens sounded Sunday, they left their home to try and reach shelter at a nearby school but never made it.

The family, a father, mother, their 2-week old baby and their dog, Tater, drove straight into the path of the tornado.

“It picked up the rear end of our car and started spinning us,” said Andy Bouchillon.

His wife, Brandi, had taken their baby’s car seat and turned it upside down with their newborn girl inside. She buckled it back in and then laid on top of it.

“I just turned it over and kept praying,” said Brandi.

When the storm passed, baby Bailey was unharmed. Her parents said she slept through the entire ordeal and didn’t have a single scratch.

"I was just praying to keep my baby alive," said Brandi.

Bailey's car seat ended up wedged in the wreckage.

"I had to go in and find her. Finally, when I touched her, she cried and I was like, 'Thank you Jesus,'" said Andy.

In the chaos of Sunday night, the family first rushed to get their baby to the hospital. Their dog, Tater, was nowhere to be found.

On Tuesday, the Bouchillon family returned to see their car for the first time. The green SUV, turned on its side intertwined with toppled trees.

While digging through the debris they spotted a familiar site. About 100 yards away from the car sat Tater. When called, the blonde Terrier ran toward his owners.

"Tater. I have all girls, this is my son. He loves to go riding and loves when I go fishing ... When we got in that wreck and it flipped our car over, we couldn't find him. Today's the first day to get back out here and look for him and here he is," Andy said moments after finding his dog.  Fighting back tears, he continued, "He's just a good boy ... He's a part of the family. I don't really know what else to say, I'm just glad my dog's back."

The Bouchillon’s said their home was leveled by the tornado, but it doesn’t matter. They are alive and their family is intact.

“I believe in God, but my faith hasn’t been that strong,” said Andy. “It’s been some tough times, but after we walked out of that wreck, I knew we was getting looked out for.”

NBC 5's Bianca Castro contributed to this report.

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