Plaza Towers Elementary Survivor Reunites With Rescuer 9 Years Later

News 9 - May 23, 2022 6:13 am

Plaza Towers Elementary School-Moore, 2013


Nine years ago, Oklahoma saw one of its deadliest tornadoes rip through the heart of Moore, taking the lives of dozens.

It was the day after Camron Richardson‘s 10th birthday, and he was a student at Plaza Towers Elementary. He and his classmates took cover as the then-EF4 tornado came barreling through the school.

“Just loud,” said Richardson. “Can’t really explain it.”

The tornado hit the school, leaving the building a total loss. Just moments after, Moore Police Officer Mark Snavely rushed to the scene.

“The whole neighborhood looked like a bomb had gone off,” said Snavely. “I mean like a warzone; everybody has seen the pictures.”

Snavely and other first responders started looking for any survivors, that’s when they found Richardson.

A cinderblock wall had fallen on top of Richardson and some of his classmates. Snavely was able to help pull him to the surface.

“Camron was the only one that crawled out alive there where I was at,” said Snavely. “I’ll never forget that as long as I live.”

Richardson luckily made it out with only minor injuries.

Plaza Towers Elementary Survivor Reunites With Rescuer 9 Years Later

In the years after, he’s learned to persevere, later suffering from health complications and even needing a heart transplant.

However, Richardson said he’s just happy to be here and with his family.

“Don’t take life for granite,” said Richardson. “Live day by day.”

On Saturday, Richardson reunited with the man who helped save his life, sharing an emotional moment with family and friends.

“That makes your heart feel way good,” said Snavely. “He’s going to do great things in his life.”

Richardson is now a high school graduate as of this week and Snavely is retired after 25 years of service.



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