VERNON PARISH, LA — Severe weather took the life of one person in South Louisiana Monday.
The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed Betty Patin (59) at her home due to a tornado near the Vernon and Beauregard Parish line.
News 10 spoke exclusively with Patin’s family outside the hardest hit area on Borel Road east of Rosepine.
“You just wonder why in the world things happen, and you just don’t take life for granted because someone can be gone in a second,” said Debbie Brister.
She’s mourning her close cousin’s life, but according to Brister, “We were like sisters. We grew up together.”
Bettie Patin is Louisiana’s only confirmed victim from Monday’s severe weather. She died the day after her 59th birthday.
Brister remembered Patin saying, “She was a very caring person and the sweetest person you could know. She’d help anybody.”
According to Patin’s family, Bettie was inside her car preparing to leave when she realized she left her phone inside her trailer. She returned to grab, gave her boyfriend a call but never made it out.
Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft said the trailer overturned on Patin, and she died from her injuries.
“Based on everything we saw, we are still lucky it wasn’t worse than what it was,” said Craft, remorseful but grateful only one person died from the tornado.
Craft said he and other emergency agencies assisted the community all day, clearing roads of fallen trees and downed power lines, “The first responders. Just everybody pulled together. We had warning, but we weren’t completely prepared for it.”
Brister said Patin was preparing to leave the rural area after repairing a damaged roof from a previous storm, but she wasn’t able to sell her house in time to avoid the tragedy.
“We all loved her though,” said Brister. “She’s going to be very missed.”
The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office reports all residents are accounted for. They are asking anyone who needs assistance to report to the Rosepine Fire Station where Red Cross is rendering aid.