A fourth-grader at a school that took a direct hit from Monday's deadly tornado in Moore, Okla., described the heroic actions of a teacher who saved his life and others by covering several students with her body to shield them from the storm.
Damian Britton, a student at Plaza Towers Elementary School, recounted a harrowing scene to Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Tuesday. He also had an emotional reunion with Rhonda Crosswhite, the sixth-grade teacher he credited with saving his life.
He was in class when he heard the sirens go off, warning of tornadoes that touched down a little before 3 p.m. with winds up to 200 miles per hour. The twisters tore through the suburbs of Oklahoma City, leaving 24 confirmed dead as rescue workers continue to search through the rubble.
"We heard the sirens go off and then we all ran into the hallway,'' Damian said. "Some of us had a math book and some of us had our backpacks. (The sirens) went off again, and we ducked again. They went off again, and then we heard the tornado and it sounded like a train coming by, and then we were all in cover."
Crosswhite laid down on Damian and several other students in a bathroom stall as the tornado hit.
"She was covering me and my friend Zachary,'' he said. "I told her we were fine because we were holding on to something, and then she went over to my friend Antonio and covered him, so she saved our lives."
The teacher and student were reunited on Tuesday, sharing a tight embrace along with Damian's mother, Brandi Kline.
"I told you we were going to be OK,'' Crosswhite said as she hugged Damian.
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