May 6, 2014 9:20 am

Son sends final text saying ‘goodbye mama’ as tornado hits home

An American flag flies from a broken electrical pole along Highway 64 in Vilonia, Ark., on Monday, April 28, 2014 after a tornado struck the town.

AP Photo/Karen E. Segrave

TORONTO –  A series of text messages reportedly sent by a young man to his mother show the minutes before a massive tornado hit his house and killed him.

Jeffrey Hunter was killed on April 27 when an EF-4 tornado hit his house in Vilonia, Arkansas. The 22-year-old’s mother Regina Wood said her son was hiding in the bathroom. She was 30 kilometres away from home. 

“First he said mama, I’m so scared,” said Wood in an interview with Fox 24“He knew how bad it was, he [said] ‘It’s going to be a direct hit.'”

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“I have a text on my phone as the tornado was hitting, ‘Goodbye mama,'” she said.

Shortly after, Wood believes the tornado hit her home. 

“I kept saying are you okay? Are you okay?” she said. “Let me know. Let me know. No answer.” The University of Central Arkansas senior was found unconscious on the ground, and later died from his injuries.

READ MORE: Tornadoes strike central, southern U.S., killing 17

Hunter’s father and step-mother, who were also in the home, survived but suffered serious injuries. At least 17 were killed in what has now been declared the deadliest single tornado to hit Arkansas since 1968.

Hunter’s mother said she will now cherish those messages with her son forever. 

© Shaw Media, 2014

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