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Arkansas Couple Dies Protecting Their Daughter From a Twister

Emma Goddard
by Emma Goddard Published on May 12, 2015

Parents often say they would do anything to protect their children. Sometimes that even means putting their own lives at risk to keep their kids out of harm's way. So when a tornado swept through Nashville, Arkansas on Sunday, it appeared that one couple did just that to save their 1-year-old daughter from the destruction.

Found beneath the debris of what was once their mobile home, Melissa and Michael Mooneyhan appeared to be shielding their daughter according to their neighbors. The baby was unharmed though the couple reportedly died of blunt trauma, according to Howard County Coroner John Gray who spoke with BuzzFeed News. The Mooneyhans were two of five people killed in Texas and Arkansas when numerous twisters destroyed homes and injured dozens.

"I don't think she had nearly a scratch on her," Howard County Emergency Management Coordinator Sonny Raulerson told the Associated Press of the child. "There wasn't enough room for her to even stand up. But she didn't try to crawl out. I don't think she wanted to leave her mama."

Gray, who told the Associated Press that the trailer had been flipped over and "exploded," said the daughter's survival was a "miracle."

"That poor little girl is never going to know them," Gray said. "But she's young enough that she'll never remember what happened."

This article was written by Emma Goddard. Follow her on Twitter @egoddardhokie.

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by Emma Goddard