Youngest Victim Of Alabama Tornado Is 6-Year-Old Armando ‘AJ’ Hernandez
The community of Beauregard, Alabama is still cleaning up after a deadly F3 tornado tore through the rural area. The death toll of the tornado is at 23 people and all missing people have been accounted for. The youngest victim of the tornado is 6-year-old Armando “AJ” Hernandez. The weekend saw 34 tornadoes touch down in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina as the storm cell moved through the southeastern part of the U.S.
Twenty-three people died during a catastrophic weekend of tornado activity in the southeastern U.S.
President Trump tweeted about the tornado saying he directed FEMA to offer the impacted communities “A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama.” The victims range in age from 6 to 89 years old. According to USA Today, the tornado that struck Lee County Alabama had sustained winds of 170 mph and cut a mile wide swath through 70 miles in the rural community.
Armando “AJ” Hernandez is the youngest victim to die in the tornado.
Hernandez’s mother, Kayla Melton, posted during the storm desperate to find her son. Family, friends, and strangers flooded the comments of her plea for help with offers of prayers and condolences before it was confirmed that Hernandez had died in the tornado. Others offered to go look for her child in the wreckage of Beauregard, Alabama that has been seen on national news stations.
When the news of Hernandez’s death was confirmed, his aunt posted a heartbreaking message about her nephew.
Strangers came together to offer his aunt support on social media after hearing about the tragic death of the little boy.
“I do not know you but my heart breaks for you all,” Facebook user Michelle Brown Burris wrote on Tina Melton’s post. “My best friend lost her daughter in the Joplin tornado in 2011. I know the pain may seem unbearable but I pray that God brings you all some comfort especially to his mother.”
Hernandez was with his older brother and father in their home when they took a direct hit from the tornado.
According to Al.com, Hernandez, his 10-year-old brother, and their father huddled in the closet when the tornado started to tear through the rural community. Despite the father holding onto both boys, the house took a direct hit from the tornado and the children were torn from his arms.
Hernandez’s brother was found after the storm and had a broken arm and a skull fracture. Hernandez’s father sustained broken ribs and other minor injuries.
“They’re holding up,” Bobby Kidd, Hernandez’s grandfather, told AL.com about the state of the family after the storm. “They’re holding up better than I would be. I know it’s going to get difficult as we go home… But Beauregard is the greatest community.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with costs related to the devastating tornado.
“On Sunday, March 3, 2019, A destructive tornado devastated Lee County, Alabama leaving many families heartbroken. My best friend Kayla Melton was affected tremendously by this. She lost her home, and most importantly her son Armando ‘AJ’ Hernandez,” reads the GoFundMe page.
“We can only imagine the hurt that her family is experiencing at this time. Her boyfriend and her other son have been transferred to UAB hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. We know that God is still in control even in the midst of turmoil.”
“If you would be so kind to please consider donating to help this family in their time of need it would be greatly appreciated.”
“If you are unable to donate please send up a prayer for this family and others affected by this catastrophic weather event.”
“Thank you and God bless.”
President Trump has announced a trip to the devastated area on Friday to survey the damage.
“President Trump has been very gracious and pledged his unwavering support to Alabama since the devastating storms and tornadoes struck Alabama over the weekend,” Governor Kay Ivey told USA Today. Gov. Ivey also confirmed that Trump approved her request for a major disaster declaration.