SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. - An incredible story of survival from two young mothers who were riding in the same car with their children during the tornado that hit Spalding County on January 12. A massive tree fell on their Jeep and nearly killed them.
Seeing the pictures and the video, you’d have to agree, it’s incredible that anyone survived. People following behind the Jeep were able to free the children almost immediately. It would take rescuers almost two hours to cut out the two mothers who were trapped under the tree.
"I heard a crack, and it immediately went down on us," said Mariah Komplien, the passenger.
It was a heroic effort to free Liesl Swenson and Komplien from the Jeep. They had been just minutes from home and returning from shopping when the tornado that hit Spalding County sent that pine tree crashing down across the road.
"The babies were fine. No glass got on them or anything," Komplien said.
Liesl Swenson, the driver, was knocked unconscious but remembers the minutes before the tornado hit.
"If I close my eyes, I can see that it was just black when you looked out the windows," Swenson said. "There was stuff hitting the Jeep from stuff flying around, rocks and debris and stuff." But she says that is all she remembers.
Liesl’s daughter Jemma turned two years old the next day. Mariah’s daughter Wren is 11months old.
Other motorists and an off duty Fayetteville police officer would help the children to escape from the Jeep’s backseat and would care for them.
Husbands Landon and Tyler had been nearby. They had also been on the roads during the storm. They would wait nervously for the rescue to unfold.
Both women were flown to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta with fractures in their necks and other broken bones. They are home now and on the mend, live and grateful.
"I am thankful for our church and our families, some of them came from Minnesota to help us take care of the children," Swenson said.
There is a GoFundMe set up for these two young moms. It’s called Lisel and Mariahs Jeep Miracle.