South Bend residents tell incredible survival stories after tornado

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) — It’s not often a family expresses gratitude for a tree toppling and totaling one of their vehicles. But Amanda Collins is convinced the one that crushed her husband’s van saved him and their daughter Sunday evening when an EF2 tornado swept through the south side of South Bend.

“I think everyone here had a [guardian angel] because it was — no warning. It just came out of nowhere,” Collins said.

Amanda’s husband and their daughter, 11-year-old Aniyha George, had just returned from grocery shopping and decided to wait in the parking lot at Irish Hills Apartments, where they live, until the rain stopped. Then, they saw the funnel cloud just beyond the trees that line the apartment complex. Then, a tree crushed the van Aniyha and her dad were in.

“I was thinking, ‘What’s going to happen next?'” Aniyha recalled. “My heart was pounding.”

At the same time, Collins and her two other young daughters ran to the ground level to take cover with their dogs in tow. Collins’ daughter Addison described seeing the tornado.

“It kind of was, like, twisty — really twisty and windy,” she said.

Ed Delaney, another Irish Hills resident, had his car damage. But the Sunday tornado wasn’t the first he survived.

“This is my third tornado in my life, so I had to deal with this 10 years ago, and now I have to deal with it again,” he said.

On Tuesday, repairmen were fixing damaged apartments at Irish Hills.

by Maria Catanzarite (2019, June 25 | Updated 2019, June 26) WNDU

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Kyrie Wagner