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'I truly believed I was dead': Temple man survives tornado in Ford truck

Ford truck damage
Posted at 7:09 PM, May 23, 2024

BELL COUNTY, Texas (KXXV) — Several people across Central Texas are without power, and some Central Texans in Temple are seeing the aftermath of a tornado that ripped through their community.

One man is thankful to be alive after he was caught in the middle of the tornado and saved by his Ford truck.

  • Ryan Leamer was driving down West Adams Avenue when he started to see exploding power lines, and felt debris hitting the side of his truck.
  • Leamer was caught in his truck and it began flipping in the air. After he landed, he crawled out of the back window of his Ford truck.
  • Leamer said when he was in the air flipping, all he could think of was his son, and when he made it out, he is grateful to be alive.


“When I kept rolling I was like, 'No, I’m going to die — straight up'," Leamer said.

Ryan Leamer is grateful to be alive after surviving what he calls a near death experience.

“I’m hearing these explosions of the power lines all around me, and then I started hearing stuff hit the side of my truck and after about five seconds is when my window exploded,” he said.

Leamer was driving down West Adams Avenue when he realized he was in the middle of a tornado.

“The next thing I knew, my truck was up and rolling through the air,” Leamer said.

After his truck landed —

“I felt like an explosion of heat in my arm during this," Leamer said.

"It felt like somebody literally just — knife wound all the way down my arm."

Then Leamer’s adrenaline kicked in, leading him to crawl out the back window of his Ford, and run into a nearby bank.

“I was in there hiding, just kind of hysterically laughing and crying because I truly believed I was dead, after the third roll I was like, 'This is it',” he said.

Leamer waited out the storm, and walked out to total destruction surrounding him — his truck was completely destroyed.

“The guy who does the power lines, I talked with him for a second, he said 'If you don’t go to church, you better start going, because you don’t see many people crawl out of that' — I’m just grateful more than anything,” he said.

Leamer was on his way to go pick up his son when this all happened, but he’s thankful he didn’t make it.

Right now, Leamer doesn’t have a way to get around, but he tells me he’s looking for some new options.

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