'Goodbye Mama' Arkansas tornado victim's final heartbreaking texts
By Jay Dillon
On Saturday, the family of Jeffrey Hunter bid their final goodbyes but he had already said his just as an EF4 tornado was about to hit."First he said mama, I'm so scared," said Regina Wood, Jeffrey Hunter's mom.All Wood could think to do was tell her son Jeffrey Hunter he would be okay, according to KFTA, the FOX affiliate in Fort Smith, Arkansas."He knew how bad it was, these say it's going to be a direct hit," said Wood.20 miles away from Vilonia, in the town of Beebe, Regina could only text updates to Jeffrey. She told him where the tornado was headed, but he already knew."I have a text on my phone as the tornado was hitting "Goodbye mama," says Regina.He then sent another message that said "It's heading right for me". Regina sent a response that said "I love you Jeff You will make it". But she never heard from her son again.Minutes later a few homes down from Jeffrey on Clover Ridge Dr., Lyman Watkins had to crawl out from the closet he, his wife and five dogs were sheltering in."All you could hear was horns going off and people hollering help help," says Watkins.It didn't take long for Watkins to find someone."I made my way, he was at that house right there," said Watkins.Lying there unconscious on the ground was Regina's son. She hadn't heard anything from him since his last message."I kept saying are you okay? Are you okay? Let me know. Let me know. No answer," Wood recalled.Despite the terror of losing her only son, Regina says she's comforted knowing that through the panic and fear, he thought to send her a goodbye message.
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