Irma Evacuees Lose RV In Fiery Crash

Posted at 4:23 PM, Sep 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-14 23:15:34-04

A family who fled from the path of Hurricane Irma lost everything in a fiery crash in Joelton.

The family is from Umatilla, Florida near Orlando. They stayed near Chicago with family when Irma hit Florida and were passing through Tennessee on their way home when the crash happened.

They took shelter at the Nashville Fire Department's Station 30 afternoon they had no where else to go, but they knew one thing. 

"We have to get back home," said Nancy. However, ask Dennis how they plan to do that. "At the moment we don't have a clue," he said. 

Three days before Irma hit Florida the Ferguson's packed their RV, which Nancy called the Beast, and they headed north to stay with family in Chicago. While there they got the news a tornado hit their town, trees were on top of their home and vehicle. 

"That was the last time I got to talk to my mother because there hasn't been power in Umatilla since," Nancy explained. 

They're plan was to head home to Florida and salvage what they could. They were on I-24 in Jeolton just before noon and moving in slow traffic when they said a massive truck hit them from behind. The motorcycle they were pulling was slammed into the back of their RV. 

"There was debris flying forward, and then we instantly smelled fire," said Nancy. 

The Ferguson's were trapped inside their burning motor home. Dennis worked on the door to free them. "Pushed it open far enough to where we could crawl down through a hole," Dennis said.  

"I went through the hole, he grabbed my hands and pulled me out and we took off running because we were on fire, the trailer, our motor home, everything was on fire," explained Nancy. "He's my hero." 

Thankfully, they weren't injured but now they've lost everything. "My wedding rings," Nancy said, "It's gone, it's gone. The memories are there but its all gone."

Out of tragedy, however, there is goodness. The kindness of strangers has given the Ferguson's strength. 

"Only thing I know is his first name is Randall, he said everybody called him Rowdy. He gave me his shoes. He took them off his feet and gave me his shoes. Thank you," Nancy said with tears in her eyes. 

They may not have anything but the clothes on their backs, but they must move forward. "Don't do no good to give up," said Dennis. 

The Nashville Fire Department helped house the Ferguson's while the American Red Cross worked to find temporary housing. The agencies also set up a gofundme page account to help the couple.