Tornado death toll rises to 24

By: Melissa Etezadi Email
By: Melissa Etezadi Email

Three weeks after the historic March 2 tornado outbreak, the death toll goes up again.

The Fayette County Coroner confirmed 37-year-old Mary Ann Pruitt died this afternoon at UK Hospital, where she has been since the storm. "She's a fighter, I don't think if that was me in her condition, I would have made it that long," explains Pruitt's sister, Connie Simpson. "Her condition got worse last night, her blood pressure, oxygen and heart rate was dropping rapidly. The ventilator was set all the way on the high setting it could be and it wasn't helping anymore. I knew it was coming but it is just hard to swallow. I lost my mom in the tornado and now this, I feel numb."

Pruitt lived in East Bernstadt in Laurel County where her home was ripped apart leaving only pieces behind. Pruitt's mother also died in the tornado that tore through their homes. "My mom always said that when it's your time that it's your time to go. She was a very religious person, and she slept with her Bible underneath her pillow every night. When I was going through the rubble, that's the one thing I did find was her Bible. That was laying underneath her pillow every night," said Simpson.

This is the most recent confirmed fatality related to the March 2 tornado outbreak.

Twelve of the 24 deaths were in Laurel and Morgan Counties.

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