Harrowing last image of tornado victim Annistyn Rackley, 9, taken by her mom ‘to show they were safe’ in deadly storm

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Harrowing last image of tornado victim Annistyn Rackley, 9, taken by her mom ‘to show they were safe’ in deadly storm

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A MOM took a heartbreaking final snap of her daughter holding onto her favorite doll to “show she was safe” before a series of deadly tornadoes hit the Midwest.

Annistyn Rackley, nine, was killed after the twister devastated her parents’ home near Caruthersville, southeast Missouri on Friday.

AP

Annistyn Rackley, nine, was killed after a series of twisters battered her parents home near Caruthersville, southeast Missouri on Friday[/caption]

Alamy

Missouri was just one of the states affected by the storms[/caption]

The third-grader and her siblings sought shelter in a windowless bathroom before the storms hit.

The girls’ mom Meghan sent Annistyn’s “aunt Sandy” a photo of the three smiling kids in and next to the bathtub.

Minutes after the snap was taken, the family members were carried dozens of yards through the air and into a field. First responders found them in the mud.

Annistyn died while the rest of her family survived. Meghan suffered broken bones, a brain injury, and a large cut, while dad Trey, 37, suffered cuts and bruises.

Middle child Ava suffered a broken vertebrae and is expected to undergo surgery.

Sandra Hooker, the sister of Meghan’s grandma, branded Annistyn a “special angel”, adding she was energetic and outgoing despite suffering from a rare liver condition.


She recalled that the little girl used to perform cartwheels and splits in front of her, and liked to learn new dances from TikTok.

Sandra told the Associated Press: “Their house is splintered. There’s debris strewn forever out in the field, and so they were sucked up into the tornado.”

Read our tornado tracker live blog for the very latest news and updates…

The tornado splintered their home less than a week after Trey and Meghan moved in.

Dozens were killed as the tornadoes ripped through several states, including Kentucky, Illinois, and Arkansas.

Korean war veteran and Covid-19 survivor Golden Hembry was one of two people to die in the Monette Manor retirement home in Monette, Arkansas.

Golden’s brother Jimmie Hembry, 82, hurried to the nursing home in the aftermath of the storm.

The veteran was in the hallway when the roof collapsed and tragically didn’t survive.

His nephew Michael Hembry told CBS42: “He (Jimmie) come back and he said ‘Golden didn’t make it’. We said ‘What?’. He said it again… and he went to crying.”

‘HE DIDN’T MAKE IT’

Another fatality occurred at a dollar store in Leachville, Arkansas. The victims’ identity has not been released.

Two-month-old Oaklynn Koon died in hospital from her injuries sustained in the storms.

In a Facebook post, the tot’s parents Jackie and Doug said they and their three kids took shelter at her mother’s house.

They huddled together in the bathroom and feared they were going to die.

The parents wrote on Facebook: “We was in the bathroom and we all went flying and ended up way on the other end of our neighbor’s house. My poor babies.

“Nothing is more scarier than knowing a tornado is heading your way and hearing your kids freaked out and thinking we are going to die.”

All the family members initially survived as the storm devastated Jackie’s mom’s home.

The parents found Oaklynn and strapped her in her car seat, but her condition deteriorated in hospital.

‘MOST SEVERE’ TORNADO OUTBREAK

She suffered a stroke and brain swelling and passed away from her injuries.

Kentucky officials claimed the destruction from the repeated weather events is “some of the worst tornado damage that we’ve seen in a long time.”

Governor Andy Beshear said, “This is likely to be the most severe tornado outbreak in our state’s history.”

“We believe our death toll from this event will exceed 50 Kentuckians and probably end up 70 to 100,” Beshear continued.

The surge of twisters that struck Kentucky left up to 100 people dead and 60,000 without power or electricity.

The twister flattened a candle factory in Mayfield where around 110 employees were on a night shift.

Valeria Yanis told USA Today that she hid under a water fountain as employees rushed to the bathroom for cover.

She said: “We couldn’t see anything. Everyone was panicking. “Everything fell on us. Roof, metal, and rocks. We were all trapped. There were so many screams.”

Valeria found a tunnel and crawled outside. She suffered injuries to her head, shoulder, and leg.

Local resident Jamel Alubahr, 25, said his three-year-old nephew died in the storm.

Neighbor Angela Wheeler described how she saw the boy’s family screaming for help from their leveled home.

She told WLWT5 her home twisted off its foundation, trapping the family in the basement before they escaped through a window.

Angela added: “Like everybody says, it was like a roar and it shifted the house where we were at and almost made us fall into the basement.”

Rex

Volunteers in Defiance, Missouri look for possessions among the pile of rubble[/caption]

EPA

Mayfield, Kentucky was devastated by the killer tornadoes[/caption]

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