Town Creek's December tornado claims third life

Wayne Lovett

The deadly tornado that struck south of Town Creek on Dec. 16 has claimed a third victim.

Wayne Lovett, 64, never fully recovered from severe head injuries he received when an EF2 tornado struck the singlewide mobile home he and his wife Rhonda were living in along Blue Hollow Road, also known as Lawrence County 265, according to their daughter, Angelia Sims of Hatton.

Sims said her father died from pneumonia last Thursday morning.

“He never actually recovered from his traumatic brain injuries,” she said.

Sims said her parents were living with her brother Nicky Lovett in Wren in southern Lawrence County since their father was discharged from UAB Hospital in March.

“Dad had three surgeries and went to Spain Rehab (in Birmingham),” she said. “He was back and forth between the hospital and rehab because of fluid buildup on his brain before he came home in March.”

She said he had been bed-ridden since returning to Lawrence County.

After the tornado struck, Sims said, her father was found about 100 yards from the destroyed home.

She said her father had worked as a welder at Turner Construction Co. in Decatur.

She said Elliott-Brown Funeral Home in Moulton handled the funeral arrangements.

Sims said her mother, 65, suffered multiple broken bones and lacerations and was in UAB Hospital for seven weeks.

“She is able to walk now and take care of herself,” she said. “She’ll live with me for a couple of weeks until she moves into a new doublewide trailer where their home was destroyed.”

Sims said donations and insurance paid for the new mobile home.

Another neighbor injured in the storm, Marcus Johnson, was taken to Huntsville Hospital and has since recovered and is living in Courtland, Sims said.

Killed in the storm were Justin Chase Godsey, 35, and his wife Keisha Cross Godsey, 34, the parents of Landen Godsey, 9.

Landen was seriously injured in the tornado and spent months in Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham. He is now living with his aunt and uncle, Josh and Allison Hutto Cross, in Moulton and receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy three days a week, his aunt said.

“He is doing well, and about to start the fourth grade at Moulton Elementary School,” she said. “We want to thank everyone for their prayers and donations. He has received a lot of toys, gifts and clothes. He is excited to get back to school.”  

Mayor Mike Parker said Town Creek continues to heal from the tragedy and his thoughts and prayers go out to the survivors.

“It’s sad that we still have victims suffering from the tornado nine months later,” Parker said. “I can’t imagine what the families have been dealing with.”

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