Family, friends mourn Duette couple killed in tornado

Image 1 of 4

Family and friends of the Duette couple killed by a tornado are picking up the pieces.

The deadly EF-2 twister claimed the lives of Kelli Wilson and Steven Wilson, Sr. early Sunday morning.

Miraculously, five other family members inside the home survived. A day later, three of the five were out of the hospital - Steven Wilson, Jr., the son of Steven and Kelli, along with two young boys, who suffered some scrapes.

Unfortunately, the two girls have much more serious injuries. They'll need a little more time in the hospital.

Monday was a emotionally draining day for family as they sifted through the debris scattered on both sides of Albritton Road. Stuffed animals with matted down fur from the mud and rain, an upside down electrical socket and wrinkled shirts are just a few pieces left over from a home that was whole when the family inside went to bed Saturday night.

Those pieces all they have left of 58-year-old Steven Wilson, Sr. and 51-year-old Kelli "Kade" Wilson.

"When daylight came, it was very surprising, very upsetting to me, to find out he was deceased," said neighbor Ike Carlton, recalling the hours after the tornado hit.

Carlton and his wife said they're just waiting to wake up from this bad dream.

"Just nice people," Carlton said. "They'd help you in any way they could help you in."

As the sun set on broken pieces of wood and aluminum siding Monday night, Nikki Pennington came walking up the road with flowers in her hands.

"I don't know this family, I've never met them before, I just want them to people in the community, complete strangers, that we care and are thinking of them and this is a time to rally around them, do what we can in any way we can," Pennington said after she handed the flowers to the family.

While Pennington doesn't know the family, she says she knows the grief they're going through. She lost her mother just a few years ago.

"Just knowing that was their mom and dad, that's what hit home. The loss and grief," Pennington said. "Driving up here was a lot to take you because you see little things, and, when you get closer, just to know that someone lost their lives due to mother nature, it's very hard."

That woman is just one of so many people reaching out to help this family. In fact, they've already gotten close to $20,000 in donations online to help pay for medical bills and burial costs.