Nashville police officer Tyler Manivong, just 26 years old, and his wife, Sabrina, were in their home in Mount Juliet, Tennessee when the tornado hit. They made it to their basement along with their dog. While their home was damaged, they were uninjured. The pair barely had any time to process what happened when Officer Manivong got the call that the elderly couple across the street were trapped under rubble.
Officer Manivong, along with a second off-duty officer named Nate Larson and a Wilson County reserve deputy named Jacob Austin, scrambled to remove the rubble from on top of the couple, Bill and Shirley Wallace.
The couple was almost missed. Their house was completely flattened, and at first glance, it appeared that no one would have been able to survive such an ordeal. There was a gas leak, broken water lines and lots of rubble. When Austin first saw the scene, he had little hope.
“Is there anybody in there?” he called out, not expecting to receive an answer.
But sure enough, he heard a faint reply.
“We’re in here.”
It was then that he, Officer Manivong and Officer Larson jumped into action. It took 50 minutes to free the trapped couple, and the trio were assisted by first responders. They didn’t have any tools to help with the process, and just used their bare hands to dig out the Wallaces, who were trapped under three feet of rubble after taking shelter in their basement.
The Wallaces did not believe they would survive and had made peace with the fact that they would likely not be found. Bill Wallace recalls how calm they were as they laid next to one another.
“It was kind of calming laying there together. There was a higher being than us with us the whole time,” he said.
Luckily, the couple survived with only minor injuries. Wallace was emotional when talking about the brave individuals who worked without ceasing to save their lives.
“They’re our heroes,” he said tearfully of the officers’ hard work.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, this was the deadliest tornado Nashville has seen in years. In fact, the city very rarely experiences tornadoes at all. Dozens of people lost their lives and many more were injured.