Tornadoes are one of the deadliest forces
of nature on Earth.
There are around one-thousand-two-hundred
tornadoes reported in the US every single year, almost all of them causing pain, death, and devastation in their wake.
Some of these tornadoes can reach wind speeds of over two hundred miles per hour, and between 1875 and 2011, over five-hundred-and-fifty US citizens have been killed by tornadoes.
So, to be caught in the middle of an active
tornado and survive is an almost miraculous
But Matt Suter Tornado story is the lucky recipient of one such miracle.
Matt Suter Tornado Survival Story
Matt Suter was a regular, nineteen-year-old
high school senior living in Fordland, Missouri, during 2006.
On March 12 of that same year, Matt would
experience a living nightmare and be lucky to live to tell the tale.
He was in a trailer watching TV with his grandmother and uncle when a nightmarish, one-hundred-and-fifty-mile-an-hour twister advanced on their position.
Typically, if this was happening to you, your
best course of action would be to crouch into a crash position and pray to your deity of choice.
But Matt hardly even had time to think before
all hell broke loose.
He was about to understand the plight of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz a whole lot better.
When recounting the terrifying ordeal, Matt
said that he heard the approaching tornado
getting louder and louder, comparing its noise
to ten military jets flying directly at him all at once.
The pressure in the mobile home suddenly increased to almost crushing levels, as the front and back doors were abruptly ripped off their hinges.
Matt said that he could literally see the entire trailer moving under the sheer force of the tornado, even comparing the way the walls quivered from the pressure to jello.
This all happened so fast that Matt and his
grandparents didn’t even realise that a tornado was what they were dealing with.
Seconds later, the top of the trailer was torn off like a tin of sardines, and Matt was sucked into the tremendous force of the twister, his screams drowned out by the roar of the intense wind.
He was carried away into the darkness of the
night, towards what seemed like certain death,
while his family could only watch in terror
The trailer was completely levelled in the incident, burying Matt’s grandmother and uncle underneath the rubble.
Thankfully, both of them survived with only
minor injuries, but they feared the worst
They saw him carried off into the sky – and
most people who undergo that kind of experience don’t come back.
Linda Kelley, Matt’s grandma, wanted to find him, but she was understandably terrified of finding her grandson dead in the aftermath of the twister.
But she was wrong to fear.
Matt Suter was carried over one-thousand-three-hundred-feet – that’s four football fields, in case you had trouble picturing it – by the tornado, before being deposited in the soft grass of an open field.
The only injury sustained being a gash on his head from being hit by a flying lamp.
He was otherwise, against all odds, completely
and utterly intact.
When he got up, Matt realised that he’d just been spat out by a tornado, and he made the fair assumption that his grandma and uncle had been killed in the incident.
So, he immediately ran to his friend’s house
to seek help.
Meanwhile, his grandma and uncle searched
Shortly after, Matt and his family reunited,
in a reunion as heart-warming as it was statistically improbable.
Suter’s physician, Dr. Ron Buening, remarked
that Matt was the luckiest man alive to have
survived the incident with only a superficial
head wound and some abrasions on the undersoles of his feet.
What’s even more insane is that – because this whole incident transpired in the middle of the night – Matt Suter underwent the whole disaster only wearing his boxer shorts.
While he thankfully didn’t break any bones, Matt did actually break a World Record for his trouble.
To this day, Matt Suter holds the record for
farthest distance survived in a tornado.
The runner up, in case you’re curious, was
a nine-year-old-girl in Bowdle, South Dakota.
On July 1st, 1955, she and her horse were
picked up by a tornado and deposited unharmed a thousand feet away.
That’s still around three-hundred-and-seven
below Matt’s record, so for now, his crown is safe.
Matt Suter was incredibly lucky to survive being thrown such a massive distance by a
tornado, but while his physical injuries have
healed, Matt was understandably traumatised
by the incident.
I mean, who wouldn’t be?
He has since reported having repeated nightmares about the incident, and finds memories of the night consistently occupying his thoughts.
He also found the sudden fame of his new record-holder status was a little overwhelming, with his phone blowing up with texts and calls after the incident.
Matt, a humble and soft-spoken guy, didn’t
feel suited to all the new attention.
Describing his final thoughts on the whole
experience, Matt said,
“I’ve always told my girlfriend I wanted to see a tornado, but I sure didn’t want to be in one.”
Matt has since returned to normal life, counting himself lucky for getting another chance.
His stated intention after the incident was
finishing high school, and then joining the
United States Marine Corps.
If he did indeed follow that ambition, he
certainly has one crazy story to share with
his fellow marines…
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Want to hear more crazy stories of people
surviving against all the odds?
In the meantime, don’t mess with twisters.
You probably won’t be as fortunate as Matt
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