Tornado victims include former Kentucky school administrator, judge and young children

After the storm passed, the inmates told Workman’s deputies that it was Daniel who literally pushed them all to safety, guiding them through a door and against a wall in an interior part of the factory. Workman said the last inmate through the door told deputies that Daniel was behind him for a while, and then suddenly he was gone.

“He was physically still trying to get them to safety. And that’s where it hit,” Workman said. “It takes a great person to be able to lay down your own life for someone else. But he did and he did it for the right reasons.

All seven inmates in Daniel’s custody survived, Workman said, two of whom have broken legs.

A cousin, Mark Saxton Sr., said Daniel was from the Mayfield area, which was devastated by the storm.

“He loved his community,” Saxton said. “He was a great family man. Everyone who met him loved him. He’s the kind of person you want to be associated with.


Brian Crick, a judge for two western Kentucky counties, was known for his good judgment when it came to problem-solving, a fellow judge said.

Crick, 43, was a district judge for Muhlenberg and McLean counties who handled felony, traffic court and juvenile cases, Circuit Judge Brian W. Wiggins said. Wiggins said he has known his fellow judge since 2005, when Crick was a public defender. He then went into private practice before becoming a judge in 2011.

Many of the defendants who came before him were unrepresented by attorneys, and Crick “was very good at making sure their rights were protected,” Wiggins said. “He had a very sensible approach. He was very levelheaded about how to handle cases and how to talk to people.

Wiggins was killed when the storm hit his family’s home in Muhlenberg County. He is survived by a wife and three children, all of whom weathered the storm without major injuries, Wiggins said. “He was just a consummate family man…very committed to his kids and his wife. They were No. 1 for him.

“We are especially sorry to hear the news,” Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton said in a statement. “It is a shocking loss to his family, his community and the justice system and his family is in our prayers.”


Two of June Pennington’s children said the Manila, Arkansas resident was devoted to her four children and nine grandchildren and had a soft spot for animals.

Pennington, 52, was working as an assistant manager at a Dollar General store near Leachville, Arkansas, when he was hit.

“She loved nothing in life so much as her children and grandchildren,” Christie Pennington said. “She was truly selfless and loved wholeheartedly.”

David Benefield, the eldest of June Pennington’s four children, said he was born when his mother was just 14.

“She was a kid raising a kid. We were like best friends,” he said. “It’s crazy how close you get.”

Her children remember her as someone who “would do anything we asked her to do,” Benefield said. Even after her kids grew up, they said June Pennington wanted to spend as much time with them as possible.

Christie Pennington said her mother adopted dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, turtles and even a ferret.

“If there was an animal that needed a home, we took it in,” she said.


Clayton Lynn Cope, 29, had worked at Amazon for more than a year before a storm killed him at a factory in southwestern Illinois.

Five other workers also died at the facility outside St. Louis.

Cope, who lived near Alton, Illinois, had joined the Navy after graduating from high school and was an avid outdoorsman who also enjoyed riding motorcycles and playing video games. He had a special place in his heart for his dog, Draco, said his younger sister, Rachel Cope.

“He would go out of his way for anyone,” Cope said in a text message.


Ollie Borgmann, 84, was a sweet and “typical grandmother” who had lived in her home in Defiance, Missouri, for decades.

A tornado ripped through the home she shared with her 84-year-old husband, Vernon, on Friday night, blowing the house off its foundation, along with that of a neighboring home in the town about 40 miles east. Where is. of Saint Louis.

His son Mark Borgmann told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his brother, Keith, was on the phone with their father during the powerful storm when the line went down. The next thing Vernon Borgmann remembers is waking up in a nearby field surrounded by debris. He suffered scratches and bruises but will be fine, said Mark Borgmann.

When Ollie Borgmann was found by rescuers, she was awake. She later died in a hospital.


Lovan reported from Louisville, Kentucky. Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia. Associated Press writers Sudhin Thanawala in Atlanta; Travis Loller in Nashville, TN; John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas; Terry Wallace in Dallas; Sophie Tareen in Chicago; Josh Funk in Omaha, Nebraska; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; and Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Martha K. Merrill