Tornado Throws Man Four Football Fields

ByABC News via logo
March 21, 2006, 7:08 AM

March 21, 2006 — -- Matt Suter has never flown in an airplane, but that doesn't mean he hasn't soared above Earth.

Last week, a tornado sucked him up and out of his Missouri mobile home, only to drop him, safe and sound, in a field 1,307 feet away.

The tornado sucked up the windows, the walls, and then finally 19-year-old Suter.

"And the doors came off, the front door and back door, the windows busted," he said.

"This young man's very lucky to be alive," said meteorologist Harold Brooks. "Traveling any distance in a tornado and surviving is a big deal."

The F2 tornado carried Suter's unconscious body farther than four football fields, setting a new record and placing him in unique company.

In 1895, a 150-pound hog took flight as did a dog in 1954. The dog returned home just four hours later. In 1963, cows actually flew and then behaved "strangely" for days.

An Oklahoma baby survived after a tornado threw her 100 feet in 1999.

"All this other stuff is just stuff," said Suter's grandmother Linda Kelley. "I just wanted him to be OK."

Interestingly enough, Suter's solo flight was 10 times longer than the Wright brothers' first airplane flight. There was one other instance that rivaled Suter's: In 1955, a tornado scooped up a girl and her pony in South Dakota. It dropped the girl to the ground 1,000 feet away. Both she and her pony were unharmed.