Gary Heimbach and Linda Kelp were home when the storm hit Sunday. It tossed their trailer 200 yards and left their bodies in a field.
The suspected tornado destroyed the family’s barn, workshop, garage and silo and also did severe damage to Heimbach’s parents’ house.
“There was no warning - just some hail and then a whoosh,” said Heimbach’s father, Edward. “And I shouted, ‘Move, move,’ and then the chimney fell in.” He was not injured.
It was one sample of a blast of violent springtime thunderstorms that stretched from Arkansas up the Ohio Valley, including a dozen or more tornadoes in central Illinois.
Three inches of rain fell in two to three hours Sunday in southeastern Ohio’s Meigs County, causing flooding that forced at least 80 people from their homes.
Tornadoes touched down in at least six Indiana counties, said Alden Taylor, a spokesman for the state Emergency Management Agency. A tornado touched down on Indianapolis’ northeast side, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department said.
The National Weather Service had not confirmed Sunday afternoon whether the Indiana damage was done by tornadoes.
Gary Heimbach, 42, ran the family farm just south of Linnsburg, a town of about 500 people 40 miles west of Indianapolis.
He and Kelp, 36, had planned to marry, Heimbach’s mother said Sunday.
“They were talking about this summer, sometime in the summer,” said Jean Heimbach, who was hit on the head by a brick from the falling chimney but not seriously injured.
Kelp’s 11-year-old daughter from a previous marriage was staying with her father for the weekend.