Trucker Among Seven Dead in Tornado Outbreak Across the South

Madill, OK – An over-the-road trucker was one of two killed by a tornado in Oklahoma on Wednesday afternoon as an outbreak wrecked havoc across the South.

Several deadly tornados swept through parts of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma on Wednesday, leaving devastation in its wake and seven people dead.

On Thursday, Columbia-MS based Powell Transportation Company (PTC) confirmed its driver, Mitch Rankin, was one of the victims.




 

Rankin resided in Mississippi.

“We are saddened to inform everyone that we lost one of our own yesterday in Madill, OK due to a tornado,” a social media post from PTC read.

According to representatives at PTC, Rankin had been employed with the trucking company for only a week.

According to emergency management for the City of Madill, Rankin was struck by debris outside of Oklahoma Steel and Wire, located at 1042 South First.

“There was an outside truck driver that had come in (to Oklahoma Steel and Wire) and he was taken by ambulance,” said Madill’s emergency manager. “We heard later he had a heart attack and died.”

The tornado moved through Madill, which is approximately 100 miles south of Oklahoma City, just before 5 p.m.




 

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Norman predicts the tornado was, at minimum, an EF2.

Marshall County emergency officials said the tornado touched down near J & I Manufacturing, located at 16967 State Highway 99C.

Authorities identified the second victim as 46-year-old Chad Weyant, who was traveling in a car on U.S. 377 near SH-99C when he was hit by the tornado.


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A third victim, whose identity has not been released, remains in critical condition after being transported to a Texas hospital.

On Thursday, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt visited Madill and toured both Oklahoma Steel and Wire and J & I Manufacturing.

Back in Mississippi, PTC said it will be collecting donations to help Rankin’s family with expenses and currently has donation boxes set up at both its Columbia and Flowood, MS locations.




 

Rankin’s social media indicates he has been a professional driver since 2015.

He resided in Columbia, MS with his wife and two children.

Pecos Hank YouTube channel was at the corner of First Street and Smiley Road — right beside Oklahoma Steel and Wire — as the tornado hit and filmed the terrifying scene.

As of publishing, the video has been viewed more than 1.3 million times on YouTube.

WATCH it below.

 

Photo: screenshot from Pecos Hank / YouTube channel

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