SALEM, Ind. (AP) — A 15-month-old Indiana girl who clung to
life for two days after being scooped up by a tornado that killed her
parents and two siblings was buried Monday in a snow-covered cemetery, a
poignant end to what had seemed to be a miracle story of survival.
flag hung at half-staff as relatives of Angel Babcock gathered for the
private burial. Angel, her mother and her 2-month-old sister were buried
in one casket. Her father and 2-year-old brother were in another.
girl died Sunday at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky., after
suffering severe head injuries when a tornado struck her family's home in
New Pekin, Ind., and swept her into the field. Her death is one of 40 from
the tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest and South on Friday.
survivor amid widespread devastation wrought by the storms, Angel
captivated the world with her fight to live. Though found critically
injured, she was opening her eyes when she arrived at the hospital in
Kentucky, which workers said was a hopeful sign.
condition deteriorated Saturday as her brain swelled, chief nursing
officer Cis Gruebbel said. As the day went on, Angel's eyes stopped
moving, and there was no sign of brain activity. Her grandmother said the
family decided to take her off life support, after hospital workers said
there was nothing else they could do.
"I had my arm
around her when she took her last breath," her grandmother, Kathy Babcock,
told ABC News. "I sang to her 'Itsy-bitsy spider.'"
The family was
buried in two caskets in the pauper section at Crown Hill Cemetery in
Salem, Police Maj. Scott Ratts said.
At least two
banks set up funds to benefit the Babcock family, and Ratts said
contributions have come in from all over the country.
had been suffering with the bad economy, and now with the storms ... I
mean, they have five burials in one day," Ratts said.
who attended Monday's burial, said she was still stunned by the loss.
tragedy that we don't understand, but God does," she said as she and her
husband, Milton, carried large arrangements of red-and-white carnations to
the burial site.
that killed Angel and her family was among an estimated 30 packing winds
of more than 110 mph that hit the Midwest and South on Friday, according
to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.
warning coordination meteorologist at the center, said the assessment of
the storms is still preliminary, and a series of weaker tornadoes that
also struck could boost the total number of twisters to 60 or 70.
the fact that the outbreak occurred as early in the year as it did was a
"once in a decade-type event, maybe once or twice a decade."