2 die in tornado

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2001

A storm system that brought one confirmed tornado into Covington County at 1 p.m. Monday, left two residents of Pigeon Creek dead and one injured. It also damaged more than 45 houses from Red Level to Gantt.

Red Level School student Megan Bond, 12, stayed home sick from school and had a doctor's appointment Monday. That appointment, however, was one she would never attend.

Her lifeless body was found along with that of her grandmother, Willa Dean Bush, about 70-years old, among the debris left in the wake of a tornado that destroyed the mobile home she, Bush and Jerry Bond were in at 1 p.m. Monday afternoon. Bond was transported to Andalusia Regional Hospital where he was listed in stable condition Tuesday evening.

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"She was a sweet little, pretty blond-haired girl. She never hurt anybody and never had any problems," said Red Level High School coach Tony Ingram, who along with several other teachers from Red Level School went to the hospital Monday afternoon to comfort the Bond family. "I think she just joined the band."

Ingram said the disaster brings tragedy to the Bond family for the second time in less than five years. Megan and her two brothers lost their mother to cancer within the past several years, he said.

"They've had some trials before," he said, adding he thought the school would take measures to counsel students following Monday's tragedy. "We haven't been back to school yet, but a lot of the teachers at school were talking about doing something."

Ingram said that in the past the school's two counselors, as well as pastors at area churches, have provided counseling for students during times of tragedy.

Emergency response agencies were called to County Road 107 when a reported tornado lifted a mobile home into the air and dropped it in the road, blocking traffic, showering nearby timber land with debris and severing power lines.

According to Covington County Sheriff Anthony Clark, the family was found among the debris of the trailer. Megan and Bush were dead when emergency response agencies arrived from the Covington County Sheriff's Department, the Buck Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Alabama State Troopers and the Red Level Police Department.

Jerry is the brother of Greenville Police Department Sgt. Danny Bond.

According to Covington County Emergency Management Agency Director Susan Carpenter most of the damage was along County Road 107, north of River Falls and in the Clearview Community above Gantt Lake.

"Damage ranged from minor roof damage to houses totally destroyed," she said. "The way it looks, it may have just been one that may have come down and then went back up before coming down again. "Carpenter said total damage costs would be assessed Tuesday, and Carla McBryde, executive director of the Covington County Chapter of the American Red Cross said a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle would be in the area providing food, drinks and counseling to residents of affected areas. Damage Assessment teams from the American Red Cross will also be in the area surveying the damages to determine what course of action the agency will need to take in assisting affected families.

For more information on receiving assistance, contact the American Red Cross at 428-2680 or to report damages or get more information on assistance from the Covington County EMA call 427-4911.