Storms, High Winds Toss Patrol Car Tracking Funnel Cloud, Damage Buildings In 3 States

Thursday, April 26th 2007, 9:57 pm
By: News On 6

LAPORTE, Ind. (AP) _ Storms with high winds rushed across three states Thursday, spawning tornadoes in Tennessee and Illinois and tossing a patrol car over a 3-foot-high fence in Indiana.

The sheriff's detective was following a funnel cloud when the winds tossed her car over the fence and dropped it upside down on a field, LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer said.

Detective Shayna Mireles suffered a cut to her head and some bumps and bruises, he said.

The sheriff said he couldn't believe the cruiser was lifted over the fence. He said, ``I don't think I would have believed it unless I'd seen it.''

The storm cell was among several thunderstorms that moved across the state. The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for much of northern Indiana, but damage was not reported in any other areas.

No tornado touchdowns were immediately confirmed. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

A tornado touched down about 10 miles west of Crossville, Tenn., damaging trees, buildings and peeling off the roof of an unoccupied trailer, authorities said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

In Plainfield, Ill., a small tornado tore off parts of a nursing home's roof, flipped over a minivan and damaged several homes but no injuries were reported, authorities said.