Elderly woman, son unharmed after flying through tornado in bathtub

SMITHFIELD, Texas (WSVN/CNN) — An elderly woman and her son heard the tornado warning and climbed into her bathtub. Moments later, they felt the tub lift up into the air as the twister struck their home.

Charlesetta Williams, 75, said she was watching the news on TV with her son Ricky, when they saw their town on radar in the direct path of the storm.

The two quickly climbed into the bathtub, which is usually recommended for safety since tubs are tied into the ground with plumbing.

But seconds after taking cover in the tub under a quilt, the EF2 tornado hit, with peak winds at 130 mph.

“Next thing you know, I heard like a poof, and I knew the roof came off,” Ricky said.

They felt the tub lifting straight up in the air, spinning around and around.

“I couldn’t even tell you how high we were,” Ricky said. “I don’t even remember hitting the ground because it felt like somebody just placed us on the ground.”

The tub landed in the woods with Charlesetta still inside. Ricky landed about 20 feet away. With the winds still howling around them, Ricky made his way to his mother to protect her.

“I crawled over there and jumped on top of her,” he recalled. To his mother, he said, “I asked if you are alive and you said, “Yes, but I can’t breathe because you’re suffocating me!'”

Although the home was destroyed, with the foundation shifted and the roof gone, Charlesetta said she plans to build a new home in the same spot, since she’s lived in that home her entire life.

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