EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Grief comes in waves for the family and friends of Amazon workers killed in the Edwardsville tornado, as they come to grips that their loved ones are truly gone.
Forty-five Amazon workers were able to get out of the warehouse safely, with one airlifted to a hospital for treatment. Six people were killed when the Amazon facility collapsed.
The victims were identified as 28-year-old Deandre S. Morrow of St. Louis; 62-year-old Kevin D. Dickey of Carlyle, Illinois; 29-year-old Clayton Lynn Cope of Alton, Illinois; 34-year-old Etheria S. Hebb of St. Louis; 46-year-old Larry E. Virden of Collinsville, Illinois; and 26-year-old Austin J. McEwen of Edwardsville.
The family of Etheria Hebb says she was a mother of a 1-year-old little boy, the youngest of her siblings, and a hard worker who loved her family dearly.
Her cousin says she was named after her.
“A part of me is missing. We called each other ‘Little Etheria’ and ‘Big Etheria.’ It won’t be the same without her,” Etheria Hudson said.
Hebb had just transferred to Amazon’s Edwardsville location about six months ago from the Hazelwood facility.
“She was an outgoing person. She was just sweet as can be. Just a tragic thing to lose her like this. It’s really heartbreaking. I know it can happen to anyone, but to someone so sweet and full of life,” Hudson said.
The family waited on pin and needles Friday night when the storm produced a deadly tornado that ripped through the Amazon facility, only to get word Etheria did not survive.
“We were told they were running and they had like 10 minutes to get to a safe location. They said the ceiling collapsed on her,” Hudson said.
Hebb’s family has set up a GoFundMe page for funeral expenses.
Meanwhile, the family of Kevin Dickey released the following statement:
We are devasted at the toll this natural disaster has taken on our community and the entire Midwest. Our hearts are with the other families who have also lost loved ones.
We want to thank first responders for their efforts as well as the other heroes who were on the scene to help others get to safety. Dad talked often about his co-workers and their daily stories, he had a great bond with many.
Dad was a kind man that loved spending time with his family. He stole the show and hearts of his grandchildren anytime he was around. He will be truly missed. We have lost a very special person.