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Surreal footage shows truck's encounter with an EF2 tornado

By Zachary Rosenthal, Accuweather.com

A young truck driver in Elgin, Texas, accidentally was treated to the ride of his life after he drove directly through the funnel of a damaging EF2 tornado on Monday.

Just before crossing the road, the tornado destroyed a mobile home, injuring one and sending debris and dust from the house up into the air and across the highway. As the twister churned toward the highway, little was in its path other than a lone red truck and its driver.

The truck, a red 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, was quickly enveloped by the twisting winds of the tornado as it crossed the highway in front of storm chaser Brian Emfinger.

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As power lines in the path of the tornado sparked and buckled due to the high winds, the truck was shoved over onto its side. With the truck fully on its side, the winds managed to spin the vehicle a full 360 before somehow flipping the truck back onto all four wheels, all while whipping around large debris from the mobile home, trees and power lines.

"I CANNOT believe they drove away like that," Emfinger tweeted, reacting to the dramatic footage he caught.

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The driver, whom Emfinger estimated to be a 16- to 17-year-old boy, kept driving down the road after the unbelievably close encounter with the tornado, suffering just a cut on his arm. Emfinger did stop the truck and give the boy his phone so that he could call his parents, according to reporting from the Fort-Worth Star Telegram.

The truck appeared to survive the storm largely undamaged as well, as it was able to drive away with its headlights on even after the type of weather encounter its manufacturers may not have tested for.

The tornado that hit Elgin was part of a larger, ongoing tornado outbreak hitting the southern United States. At least 66 tornado warnings were issued from Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning. Nineteen out of the 20 tornado reports filed by the Storm Prediction Center on Monday and Monday night were from Texas, and there was one tornado report from Oklahoma.

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More dangerous tornadoes were expected in parts of the South on Tuesday, especially in Louisiana and Mississippi, where the Storm Prediction Center issued a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms. This area covers a population of more than 2 million and includes cities such as Baton Rouge, La., and Jackson and Hattiesburg, Miss.

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