NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Collin McManus was spending the week at Cherrystone Family Camping Resort with family friends. He watched the storm outside the RV on Thursday morning. As it started to rain hard, he and his friend made their way inside.
“When we were outside, I sat down watching [the lightning] and my friend Timothy he got a tornado warning on his phone,” explained McManus. “When we see those we don’t think much of it, because up in Pennsylvania, even a tornado warning, nothing really happens.”
McManus and his friend headed inside. A minute later, the camper started to shake violently and it lifted into the air.
“For a second, everything just felt slow motion,” said McManus. “I guess it was just because of the way the camper got lifted up.”
The 17 year-old had been recording cell phone video of the storm out of a bedroom window in the RV. The video continued to record as he was thrown about in the bedroom. As the camper fell on its side, McManus said he hit the bed, then a cabinet, and then landed on the window and shattering it.
“When I woke up I was just like in shock and I couldn’t even move,” said McManus. “And I thought I was okay and when I went to get up, this pain shot up through my back and down my leg and I just dropped.”
McManus said he was able to pry himself out of the RV using mostly arm strength. Several other people he had been camping with also suffered broken bones. The teenager spent the night at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital. He has serious injuries to his lower back and tailbone. He’s now back home in Pennsylvania where he’s awaiting a neurologist appointment.
The Cherrystone Campground Welcome Center is back open and power is working. A manager told WAVY.com they are currently working with customers who had reservations over the next week. The only people allowed back to the campground are those with reservations for last Thursday who need to collect personal belongings or take their insurance agents back.
Cherrystone Campground hopes to be back open by Friday, August 1.