Son texts 'goodbye mama' as deadly tornado hits - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Son texts 'goodbye mama' as deadly tornado hits

A neighbor found Hunter unconscious on the ground. (Source: KARK) A neighbor found Hunter unconscious on the ground. (Source: KARK)
Twenty miles away from Vilonia, Wood begged for a response from her only son. (Source: KARK) Twenty miles away from Vilonia, Wood begged for a response from her only son. (Source: KARK)
Fifteen people, including Hunter, died in the devastating storm that hit Arkansas on April 27. Fifteen people, including Hunter, died in the devastating storm that hit Arkansas on April 27.

(WMC) - As Jeffery Hunter took shelter in the bathroom from an EF4 tornado ripping apart Vilonia, Ark., he decided to spend his final moments text messaging his mother.

"I have a text on my phone as the tornado was hitting, 'Goodbye mama,' " his mother Regina Wood told NBC affiliate KARK. "First he said, 'Mama, I'm so scared.' "

Fifteen people, including Hunter, died in the devastating storm that hit Arkansas on April 27.

It destroyed 328 homes just in Faulkner County. The tornado tore houses from foundations; after hiding in closets and other windowless rooms, many residents walked out into rubble.

A neighbor scanning the damage found Hunter, 22, unconscious on the ground. Twenty miles away from Vilonia, Wood begged for a response from her only son.

"I kept saying, 'Are you okay? Are you okay? Let me know. Let me know.' No answer," said Wood, taking comfort Hunter thought to message her. "That [sending a message] was the most precious thing a son could do for a mother."

The UCA senior was with his father and stepmother, both of whom were seriously injured, when the tornado hit.

Flags fly across the town to honor Hunter and others killed in the storm.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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