East Texan survives twister's wrath, shares story - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texan survives twister's wrath, shares story

By Philippe Djegal - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - She was tossed in the air and thrown 20 feet by a deadly twister. 62-year-old Sarilda Routier says it happened so fast, there wasn't much time to react. The dream home she and her husband were building in Sand Flat was destroyed. But, miraculously, she survived Wednesday's vicious tornado.

"It's just devastating," said Routier. "But, at the same time, that's just stuff."

The most important thing is that she's alive to tell her tale.

"I truly have had god; angels just right on me," said Routier. "It wasn't time."

Last night, Sarilda was removed from East Texas Medical Center's intensive care unit, and transferred to the general quarters. She's lost a pint of blood from an abdominal hematoma, and is recovering from a concussion.

"My first thought was to move my hands, my feet, my toes, and I knew I was okay," she said.

Sarilda was aware severe weather was nearing her home Wednesday night. But, she didn't think much of it.

"We hardly even lost limbs during storms or anything, and I just wasn't being smart," she said.

Sarilda was watching television in a trailer on her property. It once stood next to a cabin she and her husband, Leonard, were building. Leonard was in the cabin. He called Sarilda, and told her get out of the trailer, and get inside the cabin, fearing she was in danger. The second she opened the door, she was picked up by a tornado.

"I think thought I was safer outside of the camper," said Sarilda. "The camper went up in the air and turned and came back down."

In the midst of getting battered around, Sarilda grabbed a tree to hold onto. Moments later, she was buried beneath debris. Leonard eventually pulled her out - all in one piece.

"And, it didn't even break a nail," she laughed. "I mean, women, you know how women are. I mean, I thought, I'm in good shape. I [got] through this [okay]."

The Routiers don't have any insurance on their dream home, because it was in the process of being built. Family and friends are setting up a tragedy fund for the retired couple. If you'd like to help out, just get in touch with City Bank in Lubbock about the Leonard and Sarilda Relief Fund.

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