While driving a company truck last Thursday (April 9), a man captured two minutes of an impossibly close call with a tornado on I-39 in north central Illinois.
43-year-old father of three, Sam Smith is being hailed as the “calmest person to ever sit through a tornado” was unlucky enough to encounter the strongest tornado to hit the Chicago area in the past 25 years.
Smith says in the video that “this is a tornado and I cannot tell which way it is going, so I don’t know how to get away from it.” It soon became apparent to him — and anyone watching the video he made — that the tornado was headed straight for him.
Some experts are critical of Smith’s choice to back up under a bridge in order to protect himself, as this may actually expose you to higher winds, but Smith says he was unsure what else he could do.
The unnatural calm demeanor Smith displays in the video is partly a result of having spent 18 years as a police officer. He also says he was trying to remain calm for his children. As the tornado got closer, Smith called his 14-year-old son to try to make peace with the idea of never seeing him again.
The tornado bent both truck mirrors backward and took the paint off of the passenger side of the vehicle.