Alabama swimmer Servati dies in tornado
Alabama officials say swimmer John Servati was killed while seeking refuge in a basement from storms that went through Tuscaloosa Monday night into early morning.
Servati, 21, died when a retention wall gave way, according to Tuscaloosa officials. His girlfriend was able to escape the home without injury.
The school’s official athletics Twitter account issued a tweet Tuesday afternoon saying "UA Athletics extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of John Servati."
Former Crimson Tide long snapper Carson Tinker, a friend of Servati and whose girlfriend Ashley Harrison was among those who lost their lives due to the 2011 tornadoes that hit Alabama, quoted the swimmer on Twitter, saying "The only thing is life worth chasing is the One who first chased us."
A member of the swimming and diving teams, the Tupelo, Miss., native had days earlier been named to the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll.
Police responded to a report of a person trapped after 10 p.m., CT and found Servati, who was taken to DCH Hospital in Tuscaloosa, where he was pronounced dead.
In 2011, a tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa, killing 50. Per the National Weather Service, an estimated 58 tornadoes swept through the South on Monday, with one touching down near the city.
Servati was a member of the Crimson Tide team that finished 12th in the NCAA championships in March. He competed in the backstroke and freestyle events.
— Alabama Athletics (@UA_Athletics) April 29, 2014
"The only thing in life worth chasing is the One who first chased us." -John Servati
— Carson Tinker (@carsontink) April 29, 2014
All our thoughts and prayers are with the Servati family and the Tupelo community. We all have a place in our hearts where John will live on
— UA Swim & Dive (@CrimsonTideSwim) April 29, 2014