Breaking News
More () »

Nineveh teen survives getting trapped by fallen tree in her living room

Straight-line winds reaching speeds of 70-90 mph blew over a huge tree in Nineveh in southern Johnson County Saturday.

NINEVEH, Ind. — The National Weather Service confirmed three tornadoes touched down in the southern part of central Indiana over the weekend.

But straight-line winds did some major damage, too.

Those winds, reaching speeds of 70-90 mph, blew over a huge tree in Nineveh in southern Johnson County. It landed in a family's living room, trapping a 13-year-old girl.

When you look at the damage, it's hard to imagine a young girl inside survived the direct hit. A severe weather catastrophe, with a 70-foot tall tree that cut the Greers' house in half. 

"Everything blew out of the house. The windows blew open," John Greer said. "But God took care of us."

The Greers' oldest granddaughter captured the storm on camera.

"She was videoing to her friend how pretty the rain looked," John Greer said. "Then she hears a boom."

"I just yelled out, 'Girls!' and then you heard the bomb and then you heard Mya crying," added John's wife, Natalee.

RELATED: Live Doppler 13 Storm Blog: Severe weather leads to damage across the area

The tree landed in their living room and sent wood and debris raining down on Mya.

"She saw it! She actually looked out the window and saw it and heard something and she just took her head and went like this and the roof landed on the back of the recliner and stopped. It was like this far from her head," John Greer gestured, his fingers a few inches apart.

Mya was pinned between the roof and the recliner.

When the tree fell, she was starting a movie for her sisters and grandma, who were making popcorn in the other room.

"When I turned around, boom, it was done," Natalee said.

"If it'd been two minutes later, they all would have been in there," John added, "and certainly someone would have been badly hurt."

Just two miles away, the Nineveh Township Fire Department got the call about the structure collapse. The volunteer department only recently went to full-time staffing.

So firefighters were at the station, at the ready, and rushed to make the rescue.

"We got there in a couple minutes," said firefighter Steven Strahl. "Whenever I walk in, I see a ceiling fan in between her legs and she's just smashed down to the chair."

RELATED: NWS confirms tornadoes in Shelby, Brown and Johnson counties on Saturday

"It pushed all the trusses and the roofing right on top of her," added firefighter Travis Straker. "We immediately started moving debris, pieces of insulation and just pieces of wood to get to the main piece of ceiling that was on top of her."

"She was calm! I think she was in shock," Strahl said.

"The Nineveh Fire Department? They were awesome," Natalee said. "They pulled up the driveway and they went in and took that roof right off of her."

"We originally thought we were going to have to use our new hydraulic equipment to lift the roof, but with three of us and adrenaline we were able to do it," Straker explained.

Mya was scared, but safe.

She was checked out at the hospital, but only had bumps and bruises, after a storm disaster that could have been much worse.

"Really, basically, she came out without hardly a scratch! So it was a miracle," John said. 

The Greers say Mya was well enough to go to school on Monday. As for their home, it sustained serious damage. The family is staying in a hotel for the time being.

Before You Leave, Check This Out