HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - A tornado killed five people in the Nixville community of Hamtpon County.
The early morning twister snapped trees, flipped cars, and flattened homes.
Three victims are in one family. Donna Breland, 56, and Jim Breland lived next door to their 26-year-old daughter Kayla. All three died.
“They were always fun loving, gentle souls and always there for everybody,” said Donna’s cousin Kandi Hewlett.
Hewlett says Donna was a teacher, mother, grandmother and a shining light in the community.
“She touched so many lives whether you knew her from work, or church, or just in the grocery store. If you knew her, you loved her and she loved you back.”
Donna spent her entire life in Hampton County. She worked at Melon Patch Childcare Center for more than 13 years.
“She raised Hampton County’s babies. She loved every single one of them and she could tell their names, she could tell you their mama and daddy’s names.”
Donna and her husband Jim were married for 37 years. They had two children and three grandchildren.
“He was a hunter, he loved to hunt,” she said. “Kayla she was such a gentle soul too. She was so sweet. She loved to color and draw and paint. She was one of the creative ones in the group.”
Donna and Jim Breland are survived by another daughter and three grandchildren.
Hewlett says the support from the community makes this loss hurt a little less. She says Jim, Donna and Kayla are watching over them.
Two victims were identified on Tuesday as Alberto Hernandez and Rene Rodriquez.