BY KEN LITTLE
A man injured in the tornado that struck the Camp Creek Community of Greene County last week died Wednesday night at Laughlin Memorial Hospital, authorities said.
Jeffrey McGill, 47, of 867 Ricker Road, is the seventh fatality attributed to the three confirmed tornadoes and strong storms that tore across the area the night of April 27 and early April 28.
A family friend said today that McGill appeared to be recovering from injuries suffered in the tornado and spoke with visitors the day before his death.
He died after a blood clot in a leg moved into a lung, said Robert Sayne, director of Greene County-Greeneville Emergency Medical Services.
"He had multiple injuries from the storm, and he passed away (Wednesday) night at Laughlin Hospital," Sayne said.
McGill is the second fatality at the 867 Ricker Road address. A woman staying with the family, Bessie Lynn Rice, died in the tornado that devastated the Camp Creek Community.
McGill's wife, Susan, remains hospitalized at Laughlin Memorial Hospital, recovering from injuries suffered in the storm. Her condition was not available today.
Monica Shoemaker knows the McGill family. She said that her former husband, Jason Shoemaker, visited Jeffrey McGill in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit on Tuesday and found him in good spirits.
"He was talking about getting moved to a regular room," Monica Shoemaker said.
The McGill family went through a harrowing ordeal when the tornado struck their double-wide mobile home, Shoemaker said.
Jeffrey McGill got in the corner of a room with his wife and son and shielded them with his body. The roof blew off the mobile home "and the next thing he knew he was lying in the yard and paramedics were working on him," Shoemaker said McGill told Jason Shoemaker.
The couple's son, who is about 12 years old, was not hospitalized.
McGill himself reportedly suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs.
"He did it while he was protecting them. He was a big guy, and it is amazing to me it took him out of the house and across the yard," Shoemaker said. "He basically died trying to protect his family."
Rice's body was found across the street from McGill's mobile home.
HAD WORKED AT GVDC
McGill was a former employee of the Greene Valley Developmental Center, where he was a developmental technician, Shoemaker said.
"He was a very good-hearted guy. He would give you the shirt off his back," she said.
Arrangements, to be handled by the Kiser-Rose Hill Funeral Home, are incomplete.
Seven people have died to date in Greene County from injuries suffered in the tornadoes and severe weather.
There was also a storm-related fatality in Washington County, just over the Greene County line.
More than 85 people sought hospital treatment for injuries suffered in the storm, and at least 10 remained hospitalized earlier this week.