Tornado-Surviving Chevrolet Silverado Driver Interviewed, Gets New Truck


Update March 25, 2022: Chevrolet has announced, via Twitter, that it and Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet of Fort Worth, Texas are donating a new 2022 Silverado pickup to the teenage driver of the now-famous red Silverado that emerged—drivable—from a tornado this week. In a longer announcement on Facebook, Chevy and its Fort Worth dealership explained they are furnishing a Silverado 1500 LT All Star Edition (in cherry red, just like the tornado-surviving truck) to the teen and his family, adding:

“We are thankful Riley is safe, commend his driving skills during a frightening situation, and our hearts are with other families in Texas that have been affected by these storms. To help aid the recovery efforts in Texas, Chevy Cares is donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Due to the quick action of the team at Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet, the new truck will be presented to Riley and his family on Saturday, March 26, at the dealership. “

The original story about the teenager’s harrowing experience continues below:

When Chevrolet designed the Silverado pickup truck, we doubt designers imagined it would have to survive getting tossed about by a tornado. Fortunately for the 16-year-old driver of that now viral Elgin, Texas tornado footage, his red Silverado was indeed “Like A Rock,” as he walked away with only a few cuts and scrapes on his left arm and sore limbs.

“I wasn’t scared that much, but it was a shocking moment for me,” the teen driver told Good Morning America in a video interview. He was on his way back from a job interview when the tornado touched down in front of him. While he was expecting bad weather, he said that he didn’t realize it was a twister until the truck was rolled onto its side. “I didn’t feel nothing because it was, like, in a blink of an eye,” when the reporter asked about his feelings as the truck was being tossed around. According to reports from the initial investigation on the tornado activity, the Elgin tornado was registered as an EF-2, with winds of up to 130 mph and traveled up to 14 miles past where it first touched down.

In an interview with KXAN, Commander Aaron Crim with the Elgin Police Department saw that the teen was cut up on his arms and in complete shock saying, “I asked if he (the teenage driver) was okay, and he shook his head and didn’t really answer me.” Once the Commander saw the viral video, he said “Now I understand why he had a blind stare. I’m sure he was scared to death.”

The truck was originally purchased by the teenage driver and he wanted to prove his ability to take care of such a large investment by getting a job interview. “It was heartbreaking because, like, you lost everything you worked hard for,” the 16 year old driver stated, “I put in a lot of effort to show my parents that I could take care of something.” While it is disappointing to lose his truck, everyone—especially his parents—are beyond relieved to see that this young man was able to walk away from something like this.

Hopefully he’ll be able to replace (or repair) his truck, or that at least the truck somehow survives being sent to the crusher. What better way to show just how tough your products are than with a truck that just survived a tornado?

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