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Storm Chaser’s Video From Inside The Springfield Tornado

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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Inside the Springfield tornado, June 1, 2011. (Credit: Ryan Donovan)

Inside the Springfield tornado, June 1, 2011. (Credit: Ryan Donovan)

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SPRINGFIELD (CBS) – In a week full of remarkable pictures, one video still manages to take your breath away.

It shows you in no uncertain terms what it looks like and sounds like to be run over by a tornado.

A tornado that formed over the Connecticut River in Springfield Wednesday afternoon tore its way from the west side of the city through downtown.

It crossed the Memorial Bridge — with Ryan Donovan and his trusty Ford Escape right in its path.

It was “unbelievable”, he said, to experience the “sheer raw power of mother nature.”

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

Ryan is a chemist by trade, but says he has loved big storms his whole life.

He’s even a member of the Western Massachusetts Storm Chasers group. But this, he says, was pure coincidence.

“I was just trying to get home and I didn’t want to cross this tornado’s path,” he said.

Thinking the worst of it was over, Ryan left work and headed home to Westfield to check on family.

But the storm found him.

“It doesn’t sound like a freight train, I’ll tell you that. It sounds like a 747 taking off; that’s how loud it was in there.”

Watch the raw video

The winds tore the roof off a commercial building, sending it flying into his SUV.

The vehicle is probably going to be totaled by the insurance company.

Incredibly, Ryan walked away with no injuries.

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