Toddler rescued after tornado dies at hospital

Posted at 8:25 PM, Mar 04, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-04 23:53:02-05

 Reporting by Susan Candiotti, CNN

NEW PEKIN, Indiana — A southern Indiana toddler, found in a field after both her parents and two siblings were killed by devastating tornadoes, died Sunday after being taken off life support, a coroner said.

The girl, Angel Babcock, had been in critical condition since late Friday at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, about 28 miles southeast of where she was discovered.

On Sunday afternoon, her family took her off life support and she died immediately at 4:10 p.m., Jefferson County, Kentucky, Deputy Coroner Bob Jones told CNN. At least 20 people were with her at the time, including two sets of grandparents.

When authorities came across the toddler with blond hair and blue eyes in New Pekin, Indiana, they said they initially did not who she was or how she ended up there.

A neighbor, Andy Lanham, told CNN on Sunday that the girl, her two siblings and her parents had been invited by another neighbor to stay in his larger mobile home, in hopes that would help improve their chances of riding out the storm safely.

After the twister passed, Lanham went out into the muddy field where many mobile homes had been located.

“The man and woman (were) laying right here behind the saw mill and all three of the kids (were) found in this area,” he said.

The twister had picked up the entire family and dropped them about 100 yards away from their home. Only Angel — who great aunt Carol Brough said later was 14 months old — had survived.

Lanham said the neighbor who had tried to help the family, Jason Miller, “was just walking around here. He was out of his mind.”

Angel was eventually flown to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, according to Brian Rublein, a spokesman for Kosair.

The Louisville-based Courier-Journal newspaper, which covers parts of southern Indiana, spoke to the girl’s grandfather, Jack Brough, before she was taken off life support. He said she had suffered “a lot of injuries to her head,” and that doctors told him “the next 24-48 hours are very critical.”

“I’m just asking everyone to pray for my granddaughter and for my family,” he told the Courier-Journal.

Angel’s death Sunday raises the number of those killed due to the recent severe weather to 13 in Indiana, and at least 39 people across the country.

Reflecting on the family killed in New Pekin, Lanham said that he was at a loss for words.

“They (were) good people,” he said. “Nobody deserves it. I hate it.”

– CNN’s Christine Sever and Leslie Tripp contributed to this report.