Chetek man survives tornado stuck inside his car

A tornado ripped through a Barron County town
Posted at 8:46 PM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 22:25:37-04

A Barron County man managed to survive the EF2 tornado that ripped through his small town this week by waiting it out inside his Chevy Impala.

Mark Stefanski was just outside his mom's house, when he decided he would sit out the storm in his car. He was not sure if he just made a choice that could end his life.

"It was just a rumble, it sounded like a train," Stefanski said. "Dark, black, stuff flying,"

The tornado was heading straight to the Chetek, Wis. and he had a front row view through his windshield.

"I sat in the car and the car started picking up and I just prayed to God that I lived through it," Stefanski said.

He was 10 feet from his mom's door, but he thought he would not survive out in the storm.

"The wind just started picking up and then I started seeing things fly. And seeing the door of the garage cave in, the camper tipped," Stefanski said.

"The wind just, I didn't know when it was going to stop. You know, didn't know what I was in," he also said.

When it finally ended his mom was safe but he had no idea where his wife was.  He drove over downed power lines and debris desperate to find her.

"Finally got in the house and I yelled for my wife, she didn't say nothing. And I didn't know if she was alive and yelled again and finally I heard a voice and I made it though. You know," Stefanski said.

Stefanski and his family only had minor damage to their house, but their property took a direct hit.


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