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9-year-old credited with helping to save parents amid tornado

Branson, 9, ran alone for help after a tornado struck his family in Oklahoma.
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Posted at 8:26 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 20:26:36-04

A deadly EF-4 tornado recently ripped through Oklahoma, leaving devastation in its wake and a child being hailed as a hero.

Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt said that at least four people were killed in the storms that slammed his state.

In the town of Dickson, the Baker family was caught up in the severe weather on Saturday, including parents Marvin Wayne Baker and Lindy Baker and their 9-year-old son Branson.

Branson is now being credited for helping to save his parents after the tornado picked up their truck and tossed it into a pile of trees.

Johnny Baker, Wayne Baker's brother, told "Good Morning America" he had been on the phone with his brother as they tried to race to the safety of their friend Jason's storm shelter when the line cut out.

"About that time, I just started hearing ding ding ding ding. And then a big boom and the phone went dead," Johnny Baker recalled.

Johnny Baker said he and his wife raced to find the family.

"I just started heading towards his house and as I got towards his house, big pile of brush, middle of the road with lights on the other side of it. Come to find out, that was his truck wrapped up in that tree," Johnny Baker said.

According to Baker, he found his brother and sister-in-law severely injured and pinned in the wreckage and his wife immediately called 911. But their 9-year-old son Branson was nowhere to be found.

"At that point, my brother kind of figures out what's going on and he just said, 'Hey, he went for Jason. He went to go get Jason,'" Johnny Baker recounted.

Branson had climbed out of their family car uninjured and ran alone to their friend Jason's house for help.

"Jason has a lot of cows, so he thought it was a calf running up his driveway, loose on him. And that's actually Branson was running with his arms waving, trying to get Jason's attention," Johnny Baker said.

Jason and Branson trekked back to the truck and found first responders on the scene who later used the Jaws of Life rescue tool to remove Wayne and Lindy Baker from their mangled truck.

"A lot grown adults wouldn't have done that. We see videos all the time, have grown adults sitting there, watching things happen and not helping, where this 9-year-old kid just went into action. Do what he had to do," Johnny Baker said.

OU Health, where Lindy Baker was taken, said she is in fair condition while Wayne Baker has since been discharged from the hospital. Both suffered back and neck injuries but Johnny Baker said they're grateful to be alive.

"I know I helped save him. But I can't stop there," Johnny Baker said. "If I don't make sure at the end of the day, he's good all the way through this process, he can't 100% heal."