If Ford (NYSE:F) is searching for a new way to describe its F-150 trucks, “tornado tough” might be a fitting slogan. An Oklahoma man and three passengers survived the most lethal tornado in U.S. history by huddling inside their Ford pickup truck, which stayed intact despite being tossed around like a rag doll through local wheat fields.
Chip Legett, the owner of the truck, told Fox News he never planned to be on the road to confront the tornado, but was forced to pull over and pray for the best when his group got stuck in traffic on their way out of town. Legett’s F-150 pickup was no match for the twister, which launched the truck 20 feet in the air at one point, according to passenger estimates. The truck ended up with smashed windows and a caved-in roof after its landing and the four rollovers that followed. Yet all passengers walked away with minor injuries.
Legett and his passengers also came to appreciate the importance of wearing seat belts. The one rider who didn’t went flying out the truck after attempting to hunker down on the pickup’s floor. Miraculously, that passenger was not seriously injured either. Since passengers could open the truck’s doors after their tumble ended, they retrieved the fourth member of the group and huddled back inside to take cover from a hail storm. The unnerving event prompted Legett to get on the Ford Social site and sing the praises of F-150 engineers.
“The side curtain airbags deployed, and all four doors were still able to be easily opened despite [the truck’s crash] landing,” Legett wrote. He noted that the EF-5 tornado, which menaced the region with winds approaching 300 mph, was the largest to ever be observed in the country. Was it enough to make him a Ford customer for life?
After thanking the engineers for the safety features of his 2011 F-150 “that allowed us to walk away from this,” Legett was categorical regarding his next truck purchase. “I’ll be getting another F-150 as soon as I can!” he wrote. The “Built Ford Tough” slogan might be in need of an update.
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