Family mourns death of Manatee County couple

Posted at 4:37 PM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 00:24:01-05

An American flag hangs on the barn that turned out to be a sanctuary for the survivors of Sunday’s tornado.

Stephen Wilson and four children took shelter inside that barn after the mobile home they were in was ripped apart and thrown into the road.

Wilson’s parents did not survive. 

His father Steve was crushed in the debris.

His mother Kelli died from an apparent heart attack on the way to the hospital.

Stephen Wilson showed up at the scene Monday afternoon with his son. Both had cuts and bruises, but helped others with the clean up.

PHOTOS | Tornados leave damage in Duette, Sarasota

Sunday, a neighbor talked to us about Kelli’s final moments.

“She kept saying she couldn’t breath. She kept trying to get up, and we just kept telling her to lay still,” said neighbor Sharon Barnhil.

Monday, crews were on Albritton Road recovering the transformers that fell to the ground when the tornado snapped the utility pole.

The wreckage is still everywhere, although family and neighbors have worked for hours to recover whatever they can.

We saw so many personal items still on the ground, including shoes, books and clothing. 

So many from this community are here to help.

“This is a tight knit community on Carlton Road. Duette is by itself. We pretty much know and take care of each other. But Steve and Kade (Kelli’s nickname) were special... very, very, very special. They loved their grand kids. They loved life. They loved their neighbors,” said neighbor Randy Sharp.

There is no word yet on funeral arrangements.

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