A little girl found lying in a field, surrounded by the bodies of her family, miraculously survived, while her mother, baby sister and older brother perished when a deadly tornado struck.
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed child, named by family friends as 20-month-old Angel Babcock, was found by rescuers forty miles west of Chelsea, in Salem, Indiana, and was taken to hospital where she is in critical condition.
Rondale Brishaber, the Washington County coroner, identified the girl’s family as Joesph Babcock, 21, Moriah Brough, 20, Jayden Babcock, two, and Kendall Babcock, two months – who were all killed in the storm.
Angel was found near the bodies of her mother and siblings, Washington County Sheriff Claude Combs told ABC News. The body of the male was also found nearby.
‘I don’t even want to believe it,’ family friend Justin Henley told ABC News 7. ‘[Joseph] loved everybody. He never talked bad about anybody. He’s just a good person and he loved his kids a lot.’
‘Kendall was a month-and-a-half old. And she was found in her car seat upside down. Jayden was two-years-old and he was found under the rubble,” added Justin’s mother Sherry Young.
‘Joseph was found on the opposite side of the road from his house. Moriah was found underneath a tree. Angel was found out in the middle of the field all alone. She’s 20-months-old.’
Hospital spokeswoman Melissa Richardson says the child’s family is from New Pekin, Indiana about 10 miles south of where they were found.
Cis Gruebbel, a spokeswoman for Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, where the child was taken, said she remains in critical condition.
Tornadoes have ravaged the South and Midwest, destroying homes, claiming lives, and tearing roofs from cars and buildings.
Authorities reported a total of 38 deaths, including 14 in Indiana, where the town Henryville suffered extensive damage including felled trees, wrecked homes and a destroyed a high school.
The death toll was expected to rise as state troopers, the National Guard and rescue teams made their way through counties cutoff by debris-littered roads and knocked down cellphone towers.
The powerful storm system stretched from the US Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes in the north, in the second deadly tornado outbreak in a week.
In all, the latest line of storms battered a band of states from Ohio and Indiana on southward to Alabama and Georgia.
“We are no match for Mother Nature at her worst,” Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said in a statement, adding that he would visit the stricken southeast corner of the state on Saturday.
Aerial footage from a TV news helicopter flying over Henryville showed wrecked houses and a mangled school bus protruding from the side of a one-story building overturned trailers.
In the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Col Harland Sanders the high school was destroyed and the second floor had been ripped off the middle school next door.
The outbreak comes two days after an earlier round of storms killed 13 people in the Midwest and South.
Culled from www.dailymail.co.uk