EGAN, Texas — A Johnson County man and his stepdaughter are lucky to be alive after a likely tornado flipped an RV trailer multiple times in his backyard.
The National Weather Service said Monday night that it detected debris from a tornado near the home of Shawn Zeleny and his family, just east of Joshua and west of Egan.
WFAA noticed shredded vegetation, downed power lines, strewn debris, and downed trees along Farm Road 917 near Egan and Joshua Monday night.
Zeleny lives off of FM 917. He was on a stretcher when he first spoke with WFAA after the NWS said it detected debris from a tornado.
"I'm alright, man," he told a reporter before being taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
Zeleny's story is one he'll be telling for some time.
His 17-year-old stepdaughter, Brittaney Deaton, was inside the family's RV trailer in the backyard when the storm started picking up speed.
"I was going to stay in the trailer for the night; it's pretty much my home," Deaton said. "I was sleeping, and I woke up scared because it started rocking really bad."
That's when Deaton tried to get out but couldn't, she said.
"The stairs leading to the door were in the way," Deaton said.
Zeleny, 43, was already outside at this point.
"He threw them out of the way, and I jumped down. But by the time we were trying to get to the house, the trailer had rolled over both him and me," Deaton said.
Amber Zeleny, Deaton's mother, said she watched in horror from the house.
"I'm standing at the front door watching everything, and I'm like 'oh my god,'" Zeleny said.
Zeleny said her husband was in the mud on his side; his nose, leg, and ribs were likely broken, they said. She told WFAA that neighbors rushed over to him to get him to safety as fast as possible.
"He was hurting so bad, and we were trying to get him help," Zeleny said.
The Zelenys' house was left standing, which was good news.
But the best news? Zeleny said her husband and daughter are alive.
"All this can be replaced," she said. "They can't."