Injured Weather Channel Producer Talks About Tornado Encounter Austin American-Statesman

Weather Channel producer and cameraman Austin Anderson, who underwent surgery Tuesday for injuries he sustained when an Oklahoma tornado threw his truck 200 yards, described the incident from his hospital bed to the Austin American-Statesman.

"We were on the north and east side of this particular thunderstorm,” Anderson said, describing it as “the dangerous side.”

He was driving the Weather Channel's "Tornado Hunt 2013" GMC Yukon, with network meteorologist Mike Bettes and cameraman Brad Reynolds also in the vehicle, when “for some strange, unknown meteorological reason, it turned abruptly to the left and headed right for us,” he said.

“The windows blew out as the car began to lift into the air from the tornado and it started tumbling broadside,” Austin said. “We were all strapped in.

“We must have rolled 10-15 times. We hit the ground and rolled some more and landed on the wheels with the top of the driver’s side completely pancaked down to the steering wheel where I was sitting.

“Bettes kept yelling, ‘Stay down. Stay down. It’s not over.’”

After a minute, Bettes and Reynolds got out and helped free Anderson. Their equipment was strewn across a 150-yard area, the story adds.

While Reynolds and Bettes were treated and released, Anderson was diagnosed with a cracked sternum and broken ribs and vertebrae. Surgeons were scheduled to install four rods and eight screws Tuesday to help support a crushed vertebra, he told the newspaper.

He will be in a back brace for three months. "I’m going to miss all of hurricane season,” he said.