Apr 26, 2010 5:56 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
Nicki Carpenter's priority was always her three young boys.
As a massive tornado with 170 mile an hour winds bore down on her mobile home, Nicki apparently reacted the only way she knew how.
"She had gotten a mattress off the bed and put it over those 3 boys," said her mother-in-law, Sherry Carpenter.
After the storm passed, it took neighbors more than two hours to work their way through the debris, Carpenter's trailer had been mauled. As they dug their way inside they finally found Nicki's body. She had died laying across the top of that mattress.
Underneath, neighbors found her three boys. Battered and bruised, they had survived.
"I have no doubt that she gave up her life for them to live. No doubt," said Carpenter.
Her family is distraught, but not at all surprised at how she died in the storm.