Gift lifts spirits of tornado survivor

Police vehicles are seen strewn across the grass in front of the heavily damaged Lake Township Police Station.

/ Spencer Norris, Intrepid Helicopters

Bailey Bowman lost her life in the weekend tornado in Wood County.

Her fiance Gerald Lathrop was with her as they tried to escape to shelter.

Friday, the young man who lost so much in the storm received something to make life just a little bit easier.

"It's going to be a great surprise to give back to the community again," said Jake Bernard, Brown Automotive Group.

And when a truck pulled away to reveal Lathrop's gift, he was left almost completely without words.

"I don't know what to say," said Lathrop. "I don't know. Thank you."

It was a 2004 Chevy Malibu.

"It's a nice looking maroon," said Bernard. "I put a bow on top of it and we thought it would be a great car for him to get around in. We also took care of his insurance for him for that so he doesn't have to come up with any expenses."

For Lathrop, all of the events of the past week have been overwhelming.

"It's amazing everybody. Just what everybody has done. It's absolutely amazing," said Lathrop.

But while the love shown Friday by some local businesses is helping to ease the recovery process, nothing will make up for what the tornado took from Lathrop and he and Bowman's toddler son.

"Thank you," said Lathrop. "I miss mommy," he said to Gerald Junior.

Along with the car, insurance and free oil changes for a year, area businesses also donated gift cards and even a car seat to the grieving young father.