Parents Died Shielding Baby From Tornado

Infant girl survived after twister 'exploded' Ark. mobile home
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2015 1:15 AM CDT
A section of the D&J Mobile Home Park in Nashville, Ark., was destroyed after an EF2 tornado touched down late Sunday night.   (Evan Lewis/The Texarkana Gazette via AP)

(Newser) – The death toll from severe storms that ripped through several states on Sunday now stands at five—including a couple who died trying to shield their baby daughter from a twister. Authorities in Nashville, Ark., say Michael and Melissa Mooneyhan were trying to keep their 18-month-old daughter safe when their mobile home flipped over and "exploded," the AP reports. "That poor little girl is never going to know them," the county coroner says. "But she's young enough that she'll never remember what happened." Authorities say the girl was found alive during rescue efforts and is now with her maternal grandparents, the Texarkana Gazette reports.

"That baby was definitely their life. They considered her their greatest blessing. You couldn't find two parents who loved a child more," a cousin tells the AP. "She's going to grow up knowing family and knowing love." She says family members have been searching through debris to find family mementos for the little girl. The couple, who were in their late 20s, were the only fatalities from the Arkansas tornado. Two people died in the small Texas city of Van, where the Red Cross says more than 100 homes were destroyed or badly damaged, and a driver died during storm-related flooding around 60 miles southwest of the city, the AP reports.

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