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Hot Springs family finds shelter in minivan during Thursday night tornado



Hot Springs, Arkansas – A family from Hot Springs left their son’s basketball game and took refuge in a minivan in an attempt to get home before the tornado that struck the Hot Springs Village neighborhood on Thursday night.

“When I was driving, I noticed a piece of a tree go past me, and then there was so much rain so fast that it kind of just turned white on us,” Brad Fausett said. “It kind of opened up for a second as soon as it did I saw a ditch and an embankment and I could feel the car shifting with the wind so I thought I got to put it in the ditch and I tried to stick it next to that embankment as hard as I could,” Brad Fausett said.

Nathalia Zayas, his daughter, described it as an insane event.

“Well, everybody was really scared, and I was just trying to get everybody on the floorboard and keep them on the floorboard as long as I could,” Fausett said.

The youngest child in the four-child car was “pretty good” shaken.

“Once we got in the ditch, I felt a lot better,” Fausett said. “The trees had all fallen, and the powerline had fallen almost on top of us, but again that ditch embankment actually helped us.”

A Hot Springs Village Police Officer was approaching from the other side of the road, so there was no need to dial 911.

“The Hot Springs Village Police Officer was pulling up on the other side of the storm at the same time he came barreling through and got to us, and then right as soon as he got to us the fire department showed up behind us,” Fausett said.

The van was kept there for the night since felled powerlines still covered it and a wrecker was required to get it out. The van was completely undamaged and drivable after it was retrieved.

With the assistance of a man called Mike, the family managed to return home that evening.

“He piled everybody into the truck, and it took us about two hours to go 10 miles, but we made it eventually,” Fausett said.


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