Woman who survives Memorial Day tornadoes and deadly crash gets a free car

A woman who survived not only the Memorial Day tornadoes, but a deadly car crash now has new wheels to help her move forward.

Jessica Day told News Center 7’s Monica Castro that the tornadoes were rough.

But then only a few months later, in August, she was in a car wreck with her children’s father on the Interstate 75 North exit ramp to Northwoods Boulevard in Vandalia.

Her children’s father, who was driving the car, didn’t make it.

“Here’s a car for free? What” was Day’s reaction to finding out a complete stranger donated a car, and that it was now hers.

It would not be possible without Genie’s Wish, a nonprofit agency in Dayton started by Angie LeBlanc to help survivors after the Memorial Day tornadoes.

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Day was the first person to come to mind as someone deserving of the car, LeBlanc said.

“My roof caved in to an extent,” she said of her house after a tornado came through. “We had broken out windows.”

But Day bounced back, only to go through another tragedy.

“We hit a car going 65 mph that was stopped. We went across the median,” she said. “My kids’ dad was in the car that passed away. He was driving.”

But despite the two tragedies, she remains positive, and now has new wheels to get her moving forward.

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“I’m taken back. It’s almost like I have my life and I can be me again,” she said. “Things are slowly coming into play. I’m really grateful.”

After the Memorial Day tornadoes, Genie’s Wish helped families with basic necessities and home goods to get by.

The car was the biggest donation they’ve received to date.

For the future, LeBlanc said the nonprofit is hoping to get building space for operations.

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