Family survives tornado in car - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family survives tornado in car


NEW HARTFORD-KWWL -- "Our car flipped by New Hartford in the cemetery and my mom's stuck in it," 911 call made by 14-year-old Skylar Lavenz.

Nicolle Lavenz and her kids -- Skylar, Madison and Morgan -- survived the tornado in their car. The Lavenz home doesn't have a basement, so they tried to make it to her fiance's parent's house.

"I wanted my kids to be safe so we left and got right around this area and saw the tornado," said Nicolle Lavenz.

That's when Lavenz pulled over and told the girls to put their heads down.

"The car started shaking and debris was flying at us. It was just horrendous, the noise was. And then it actually picked us up then did a few loop de loops and threw us into the cemetery," said Nicole Lavenz.

"I was scared because all I could feel was just everything beating upon me because the windows were obviously broken," said nine-year-old Morgan Lavenz.

"I asked everyone if they were okay. They all talked to me because I didn't think we all could be okay, and Skylar climbed out of the sunroof. She pulled Madison out and they went off for help," said Lavenz.

Skylar and Madison got a neighbor, came back to the car, and used a cell phone to call 9-1-1. Two men pulled Nicolle out of the car.

"I had never called 9-1-1 before. It was scary because I didn't know what to say and I was just freaking out. They couldn't understand me or anything," said Skylar Lavenz.

Nicolle said she couldn't be more proud of her daughters.

"I think they were the heroes of it all. They were so composed and mature," she said.

More than a week later... it's hard being back at the cemetery. Nicolle believes they had a guardian angel watching over them. She said there's no other way they would have survived.

Amazingly, there were only minor injuries. Skylar got stitches in her foot, and Nicolle spent a couple days in the hospital with a hurt shoulder and elbow.

The Lavenz family really wants to thank everyone who stopped to help.

Online Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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