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April 27, 2012 Vol. 118, Issue 126 Harder than we thought April 27 changed the face of Tuscaloosa, but it also changed us By Jonathan Reed Managing Editor When tornadoes ripped through Dallas, Texas, on April 3, Darlene Harrison and her husband David knew they needed to find shelter. Their home didn’t have a basement, so they raced with their dog through the wind, rain and hail to a neighbor’s house. Darlene Harrison could only think of one thing as they bolted for safety: This is what Ashley must have gone through. Ashley Harrison, their only daughter, was killed on April 27, 2011, when an EF4 tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa. Ashley had been at the apartment of her boyfriend, Crimson Tide football player Carson Tinker, when the tornado flattened the building. Both of them were thrown into a field. Tinker survived and was quickly taken to DCH Regional Medical Center. An hour after the storm hit, Ashley Harrison’s body was found. A neighbor’s German shepherd ran into the field of debris. The dog, named Saban, jumped in and out of the rubble, looking for the 23-year-old who always played with him. He finally crawled into a pile of debris and stayed there, even as his owner called for him. When the neighbor finally found Saban, the German shepherd was curled up next to Ashley’s body. She lay unidentified in the morgue until early the next morning, after her parents had arrived from Dallas. In the year since then, the Harrisons have stayed in close contact with Ashley’s friends and the parents of other students who were killed in the storm. Those relationships, as well as the support of friends and family, have helped the Harrisons cope with the hole the storm ripped in their hearts, Darlene Harrison said. “That hole is so big that we say those people sit around the edge of the hole and keep us from falling in,” she said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

The Crimson White

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