McLoud driver survives Oklahoma tornado lifting, then dropping her vehicle

McLoud resident Doresa Byus was on her way home Monday night when a tornado lifted her vehicle, then dropped it. The back window was shattered and houses on both sides of the road around her were demolished, but Byus survived unscathed.

BY DARLA SLIPKE Modified: May 12, 2010 at 12:23 am •  Published: May 12, 2010

Doresa Byus gripped her steering wheel, closed her eyes and prayed Monday night when a tornado lifted her sport utility vehicle off the road west of McLoud.

The thick, brown swirl of dust and debris was the last thing she saw before closing her eyes.

"It’s a hard feeling to describe,” she said.

"You just feel helpless. There’s nothing you can do. There’s nowhere you can go.”

Byus was driving home to McLoud from Midwest City. She had been watching the sky and listening for news from her husband’s calls and the radio, but the signal kept cutting out. She said she didn’t see the tornado until it was right beside her on SE 29 Street, east of Peebly Road. The next thing she knew, her Isuzu Rodeo was being enveloped.

The rear window shattered and the front windshield cracked like a spider’s web, Byus said. She felt a whoosh of air and she thought her roof had blown away, but Byus kept her eyes closed. In a matter of minutes, the tornado released her car and moved away, leveling several houses in its path.

"It was like being in a ride,” Byus said. "It just twisted and dropped.”

She expected to find her car on top of someone’s roof. To her surprise, the car was mostly intact and resting in the road near where it had been. National Weather Service map of preliminary tornado tracks has disabled the comments for this article.

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