Iowa Officer Gets Caught in Path of Tornado After Saving Campers From Storm

An Iowa sheriff’s sergeant had an extreme tornado encounter on May 21 as he was evacuating a campground along US Highway 34 outside Villisca.

Footage from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office shows Sgt Todd Dollen at the Hacklebarney campground, where he was helping the occupants of campers to shelter. However, Dollen’s own path was blocked by a fallen tree, and he was forced to ride out the tornado right in its path.

“Usually, we try to not get ourselves into the storm … That was my first experience having to ride one out and it wasn’t that much fun,” Dollen told local broadcaster 3 News Now.

Robbie Keeler, whose wife Dollen alerted to the danger, credited the sergeant with saving her life. “I got a lot of love for that guy," he told 3 News Now.

KETV reported damage in Villisca from the twister. Several other tornadoes were reported, including in Greenfield, where four people were killed and dozens injured. Credit: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office via Storyful

Video transcript

Your house for 34 there.

7134 for, yeah, 20% on the r we're just all my rest at this time.

I know if anyone been 45 left, we're gonna pull in there and just, uh, in there real quick.


Kind of kid you have in check the equestrian campground.

There was campers there.

I didn't get there in time.

How much are the other ones I'll take on the LA you that did make it to the shelter.

We got a building part of a building on the highway.