99-year-old Tenn. woman survives being lifted from bed during tornado


MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) – In Mt. Juliet, one of the harder-hit neighborhoods is Clearview Estates near the now dilapidated West Wilson Middle School.

There are piles of debris and leveled homes for blocks.

On Barrett Drive, there’s a miraculous story of chaos, winds, and a vortex cloud that trapped a family and lifted a 99-year-old woman out of bed and tossed her against the wall.

That woman is Fred Clinton’s mother.

“And we are just as shocked as anyone else. We had no control over anything. We were plastered, at the mercy of the environment,” Clinton says from the front yard of his decimated home.

Like many Middle Tennesseans, Tuesday morning, the 71-year-old woke to pandemonium.

“We were huddled here in the hallway, my daughter and grandson, and it blasted us side to side. For the first few minutes we were paralyzed, couldn’t move, then we opened the basement door, and creep downstairs, the roof was popping up and down, glass flying everywhere, it was ferocious, wind speeds very high, thankful we made it to the basement with just cuts on her feet from the glass.”

The former paratrooper told News 2 his 99-year-old mother was in the front bedroom when the storm hit.

“It picked her up out of the bed and threw her into the hallway. And she hit the wall. My mom is 99 and she survived a trip from her bed into the hallway and she made her way downstairs and we were holding a young baby, 2 years old, so we were thankful to God we did survive with minor injury.”

The 71-year-old credits God for the miracle. He says despite the destruction and chaos, he felt a warming calm.

“I believe Jehovah God is a real God and Christ Jesus is his agent and he is watching over us. Exactly. What I felt. Exactly.”

At this point, the family is working with insurance agents and contractors to see if they can rebuild.

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