Storm chaser recounts helping man trapped in vehicle after Manitoba tornado

By | August 8, 2020

TORONTO — Storm chasers Aaron Jayjack and his fiancee Misheyla Iwasiuk were following the massive tornado when it tore through a farm near Virden, Man. on Friday evening.

In a video he shared on Twitter, Jayjack can be seen standing in front of the twister as it moved across the landscape.

“We’re in Virden, Manitoba here where a big time tornado just crossed the road, hit a farm. We’re going to go back to the farm to make sure they’re OK soon as it crosses here and gets clear of the house,” he said in the video.

Speaking on CTV News Channel on Saturday, Jayjack says it looked as though the farm’s grain silos were being shredded in the tornado.

“We pulled up to the farm house and the first thing we saw were two vehicles,” Jayjack said. “A Jeep Grand Cherokee had been thrown just off the road, upside down in a ditch and then there was a white pickup truck that had been rolled probably a good 150 yards into the field to our east so it had followed along, it had been pulled with the tornado.”

Upon discovering the two vehicles, Jayjack says he and his fiance began yelling to see if there was anyone in the cars, but only received a response from one driver.

“He said he didn’t have any injuries, but that he was stuck. He couldn’t move – he was pinned in the vehicle,” Jayjack says. “[The vehicle] was upside down, and he was having difficulties breathing because of respiratory issues with asthma.”

While he was helping the man, Jayjack’s fiancee Misheyla Iwasiuk was calling 911. He sat with the man and talked with him until paramedics arrived and fire crews were able to remove him from the car.

According to Manitoba RCMP, a 54-year-old man from the Sioux Valley Dakota First Nation was taken to hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

Police say two 18-year-olds were found deceased near a second vehicle. Police believe the pair were ejected from the vehicle during the storm.

STARS Air Ambulance was initially called to assist with the incident but cancelled the mission after it was deemed unnecessary.

No one was in the farmhouse when the tornado went across the property.

Jayjack says the twister was on the ground for at least 10 minutes and while they are not uncommon for the area at this time of year, he says this one was significantly large and forceful.

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