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Lee County girl escapes tornado-squashed truck to save father

Posted May 10, 2011

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— A Lee County girl squeezed out of her father's squashed truck three weeks ago to find help after the tornado that flattened a Lowe's Home Improvement store in Sanford sent a wall crashing down on them.

Carey Rosser and his 13-year-old daughter Hannah stopped at the Lowe's on April 16, and noticed that a rain-wrapped tornado was heading their way. One of the store's walls slammed down on their truck, trapping them inside.

"My leg was pinned by the steering wheel. The roof was on my back and my chest was in the console," said Carey Rosser. "I'm still over my daughter, but I can't move."

Neither was hurt, but unaware of what might fall on them next, they had to escape.

"I just swallowed and said, 'Don't worry, I'll go get help,'" Hannah Rosser said.

Lee County girl escapes tornado-squashed truck to save father Lee County girl escapes tornado-squashed truck to save father

She crawled down into a small opening where the bottom of the truck had buckled under the weight of the wall, she said. Then she wriggled into the backseat and out the back window.

"A lot of times I'd tell people, 'Oh, I hate being small. I wish I could be taller because people make fun of me,'" Hannah Rosser said. 

"Now it's like, that's why I'm small. God had a plan for me being small," she said.

The Rossers said that God has always watched out for the girl. 

Six years ago, a drunk driver crashed head-on into the car she was riding in. Hannah Rosser spent more than a week in the hospital, but she survived.

"She pulled through that," Carey Rosser said. "To her, this tornado was nothing."

Hannah Rosser was able to track down a rescue team from Maryland training to use the Jaws of Life. The team headed to Lowe's when it saw the tornado coming and cut Carey Rosser from his truck.

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  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman May 11, 2011

    "Now it's like, that's why I'm small. God had a plan for me being small," she said.

    ;o)

    Thank God and the girl for being so brave.

  • wynnediii May 11, 2011

    "funny about the warnings... i was listening to a lynard skynard cd driving from winston-salem to raleigh that day and it didn't mention anything about tornados."

    Really...I normally get the local news when I listen to CD's. /sarcasm.

    Great Story WRAL

  • Killian May 11, 2011

    Great story! Nice to see a positive one amidst all the negative news in the world today. I'm so glad they were both safe!

  • Dollars-and-Sense May 11, 2011

    Hey WRAL...great story. If only you'd report more of these positive stories to balance out all the negative stuff that is generally on this site.

  • scarletindurham May 11, 2011

    This story makes me teary eyed!! Way to go Hannah!

  • Equinox Bandingo May 11, 2011

    funny about the warnings... i was listening to a lynard skynard cd driving from winston-salem to raleigh that day and it didn't mention anything about tornados.

  • Canes Girl Forever May 11, 2011

    Great story!

  • Proud Wife and Mother May 11, 2011

    Just to know that they were in that squashed piece of metal and now they are alive and well really just puts things in a great prospective for me. That is an amazing story!

  • BubbaDukeforPresident May 11, 2011

    I know the father is so proud of Carey. She's a hero:)

  • Sea Chell May 11, 2011

    WOW put tears to my eyes!

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