Moore resident Larry Jernigan recounts taking shelter from Moore tornado in pickup truck

MOORE, Okla. - Getting underground was priority number one in Moore Monday as an EF-5 tornado destroyed the landscape.

Some, though, waited too long and faced lesser odds of survival.

Larry Jernigan is sporting bandages on his head and forearms.   He rode out the storm in his pickup truck.

The white Ford Ranger is now a mangled mess.

"I came by Plaza Towers school right over here, and when I looked to the right, there it was," he said.  And things started falling out of the sky."

Jernigan pulled in to the nearest driveway just in time to hit the deck.

"I just turned the key off and just laid down and tried to get in the floorboard best I could," he said.

The 200 mph winds produced debris that attacked him and his truck.

The windows were shattered.

He had only his arms to shield himself.

PHOTOS: The aftermath in Moore (http://bit.ly/may20photos)

"Had my hands over my eyes like this and I just praise God that, you know, I didn't get any glass in my eyes or anything," he said.

His eyes were spared, but the debris settled in Jernigan's forehead and arms, requiring surgery.

"There was a knot about the size of a baseball right there that just blew debris inside my arm so they had surgery and took the debris out of my arm," he said.

As with so many Moore residents, Jernigan says it just wasn't his time, God has other plans for him.

"Personally, I don't know how I got out except for God's grace," he said.  "That's really, I think, to me that's the only thing that helped me through there is God's grace.  You know, wasn't my time to go."

Jernigan says he won't try to ride out another storm, instead he'll get to a cellar next time.

For information on donations for tornado victims, visit www.kjrh.com/relief .

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