With Parents Crushed by Tornado, Boy Becomes 'Superman'

Branson Baker, 9, ran in search of help, reportedly saying, 'I have to save my parents'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2024 12:13 PM CDT
Updated May 5, 2024 2:50 PM CDT
With Parents Crushed by Tornado, Boy Becomes 'Superman'
The family's truck in the aftermath of Saturday's tornado.   (GoFundMe)

A couple and their 9-year-old son were driving toward a storm shelter as tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma on Saturday when they ran out of time. A tornado unleashed its fury on the family near the town of Ardmore, tossing their truck into trees and pinning the parents inside. It was a bad scene. As CBS News reports, "Wayne Baker's back, neck, sternum, ribs, and arm were broken. He also lost part of a finger. Lindy Baker's back, neck, jaw, ribs, and right hand were broken. She also suffered a punctured lung." Luckily, unhurt was 9-year-old Branson. "Mom, Dad, please don't die, I will be back," the boy told his parents before exiting the mangled truck and running in search of help, his uncle Johnny Baker tells CBS.

Baker had been on the phone with his brother when the tornado struck. "I heard a 'ding ding ding' like hail or rocks hitting the windshield, then a large crash and the phone went dead," he tells News 9. He and a companion raced to find the family, arriving after Branson had departed, People reports. Baker says Branson "ran as fast as he could" through debris and downed power lines, finding his way through the dark to reach a neighbor roughly a mile away in about 10 minutes. "That's pretty impressive for a little kid," says his uncle, per CBS. But "he had to become his parent's superman ... He said, 'I have to save my parents.'"

Baker and his helper were struggling to free the couple when the neighbor arrived with first responders, according to a GoFundMe page. Together, they were able to assist the couple. Wayne and Lindy are now recovering in the ICU at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City and are expected to make a full recovery. "Branson is small, but he is so mighty, he is a hero," reads the GoFundMe page that has raised $26,000 for the family as of Thursday morning. Branson's baseball team also held a fundraiser for the family on Monday. Baker tells CBS that Branson appears to have felt the love, because "he actually hit a home run" in the accompanying game. (More tornado stories.)

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