JEFFERSONVILLE — Freda and Michael Montgomery can be called survivors on many levels. The two have faced emotional and physical challenges in the past that would weaken the heartiest of souls.
Freda survived a serious ATV accident that severely injured her leg. Michael’s stepchildren from a previous marriage were killed in an automobile accident, and his son was in a coma for 20 days after his vehicle slammed into a truck head-on a few years ago. He eventually recovered from the accident.
However, maybe that past helped them deal with the challenges that came their way March 2, 2012. Maybe it was that mental toughness that helped them survive being sucked up into a funnel cloud and thrown 350 feet into a muddy field, and while seriously injured, overcome the pain of being pelted with softball-size hail and heavy rain while waiting to be taken to the hospital.
“You go through things in life that you don’t always know why,” Freda said, holding back tears. “You don’t always understand why you go through it. But He has a plan.”
MARCH 2, 2013
Michael, 52, said he loves watching storms and that day a year ago was no different. Standing outside of the couple’s mobile home at 7404 Henryville-Otisco Road in Henryville, he had his eye, and camera, on a dark cloud heading his way.
“I was on the front porch looking at the hillside and saw the debris cloud,” Michael said. “[The tornado] was about a half mile away from us and it looked like it was going to miss us. Then all of a sudden, it made a 45-degree turn and headed straight for us.”
That is when Freda heard WLKY-TV Meteorologist Jay Cardosi say a tornado was spotted near Henryville-Otisco Road, right before the electricity went out in their residence. She ran to the porch and told Michael what Cardosi had said and the two sprinted to a hallway inside the mobile home. There was no time to go anyplace else.