Former Reporter And May 3 Tornado Victim Reunite 20 Years Later

Friday, May 3rd 2019, 9:42 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

Bobbie Vaughan, 67, was found unresponsive after a F-5 tornado tore her neighborhood apart on May 3, 1999. An off-duty paramedic and a man driving a Jeep saved her life.  

Vaughan was found buried in rubble after the tornado. She was considered a “code black.” While other first responders moved on, off-duty paramedic Steve Swoyer, who lived nearby, decided to help.

Vaughan was brought to the hospital, where she recovered from her injuries.

It's been 20 years since former News 9 reporter Julie Dyson has seen Cecelia Vaughn-Savage. Recently, the two reunited at the last place they saw each other, Integris Southwest.

“It’s really great to connect with people from that time,” said Dyson.

Bobbie Vaughan has since passed, but not before watching her family thrive amid devastation.

“She got to see me get married,” said Vaughan-Savage. “She got to see great-grandkids, that if she hadn’t made it through that, she wouldn't of gotten to be here for it.”

Through the pain and hurt came inspirational stories of survival. Oklahomans took care of one another and saved lives.

“A story like your moms was uplifting and it was wonderful, because she survived and you were all OK,” said Dyson. “To see the reunion with Steve, that was one of the great stories that I really enjoyed. I’m so glad that it turned out that way.”

The Vaughan's rebuilt their home in the same area and stayed there for six more years.

Vaughn-Savage says she hasn't been through another tornado since May 3, 1999.