Last week we ran an image from Getty that showed Shane Steelman’s red Corvette Z06 surrounded by the destruction from the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, May 20th. Shane saw the picture on our Facebook page and provided even more photos and video. Here is his account of what happened before, during and after the storm as well as the fate of his beloved C5 Z06.
Shane was working that fateful Monday and had is daily driver with him, a 2007 Chevy Trailblazer SS. When the storm warning’s came that afternoon, he rushed home to pick up his dog. Realizing that he wouldn’t get there in time, his girlfriend Samantha picked up the dog and then met Shane at her house which was about 2.5 miles from the path of the tornado.
“We got in my Trailblazer SS and headed north right away out of its path. We got a picture of it out of the rear window as we drove away and it just looked like it was ripping through my neighborhood. The radio was telling us it hit the Plaza Towers Elementary School, and I’m only one street east of it. After it passed, we went back around and walked a couple miles to the house looking at the debris and the closer we got the more we realized the damage was getting worse. Once on my street it was hard to tell the houses apart from the other. If it wasn’t for my corvette it would of been hard to figure out which was mine. I was just in shock at the devastation it caused. I could tell right away the car was gone. I had not a single standing wall of my house left. The car had been turned around and the rear of it put on top of the concrete base around the garage.”
Shane reiterated to us on how lucky he was that no one was home at the time the tornado passed over his neighborhood. His immediate neighbors where both home when the storm hit. While one of them also survived the storm, his 70-year-old neighbor Deanna Ward tragically did not.
After the immediate shock of the storm wore off, Shane assessed the damage to his Corvette Z06.
After we pulled the car off the wall with the wrecker I noticed all of the insulation in the exhaust and after seeing under the hood was spotless and the shifter felt just fine I decided to start it up and blow it all out. I could of drove the car out of there if I kicked the windshield out of it. But the wrecker driver was already there so I let him take it. The car had a custom grind boost cam and full exhaust. It dynoed 407rwhp, and all of this work was done only a couple months before this. My plan was to add an A&A kit very soon. I’m afraid I’m going to take a big loss on the car because insurance is only going to give me the value of the car and I spent 7k on it a couple months ago.
Here is the video of Shane starting his Corvette Z06:
Shane has pretty much lost everything in the Tornado. He tells us there was no trace of his couch, loveseat, washer and dryer. He found the door from his refrigerator but everything else completely disappeared. However, he did come across his class ring which was found in the debris. The drawer that it was stored in is nowhere to be found.
The Corvette Z06 unfortunately didn’t make it either. The insurance company has let him know that they are going to total the Corvette as a complete loss.
Shane included this message to us: “I’ve been calm about this whole thing but to see that others want to reach out to me in my time of need brings me to my knees in tears. I can’t believe the goodness and kindness of others.”
Shane is on the Corvette Forum (aka SteelmanZ51) and his facebook page shows his Corvette in the cover image during better days.
We’ve never asked our readers to do this before, but if you have a few dollars to spare, can you send them to Shane via his paypal account? His email address is “firstname.lastname@example.org” and anything we can do for a Corvette brother that has lost everything would be very much appreciated.
The Corvette was big part of Shane’s life and out of the blue he sent a message about how much he misses it. Please donate to his paypal account using his email “email@example.com” and let’s help him get back into the driver’s seat of a new Corvette!
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