May 30, 2023

A Navy veteran, a loving grandfather and a judge were among those killed in the tornadoes that swept through several states

About 40 people remain unaccounted for at a candle factory that had over 100 workers inside when the the tornado system tore through Mayfield, Kentucky, Graves County Coroner Brad Jones tells CNN.

Also in Kentucky, a 3-year-old and 5-year-old were among the victims of the storms, Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed.

Here’s what we know about some of those killed.

Robert Daniel met his son at a barbershop Friday morning to give him an early Christmas present.

It was the last time the two saw each other, Zachary Daniel told CNN. His father was killed when tornadoes ripped through the town of Mayfield, Kentucky, around midnight Friday night.

Robert Daniel

“That night was just horrible. I still don’t believe it,” Zachary Daniel said of the death of his father, Robert Daniel, 47.

His dad was on a work-release program and Friday night was his first time on the night shift at the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory, said Zachary Daniel, who also works there.

Zachary called his father a great person and a loving grandfather to his grandkids.

Brian Crick, 43

District Judge Brian Crick was also killed in the tornadoes that struck western Kentucky, according to a statement from the chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court.

District Judge Brian Crick

“This is a shocking loss to his family, his community and the court system, and his family is in our prayers,” wrote Chief Justice John Minton.

Crick was 43, according to the Lexington Herald Leader, and served McLean and Muhlenberg counties.

Clayton Cope, 29

The family of Clayton Cope, a 29-year-old US Navy veteran, confirmed to CNN that he died when a tornado hit an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Friday night.

His mother, Carla Cope, told CNN her son was “a really good kid.” He would have turned 30 on December 27, she said.

Clayton Cope

“He loved to hang out with his friends,” she said. “He was big-hearted; he would do anything for anybody.”

Clayton followed several other men in the Cope family by serving in the Navy, his mother said. His six-year stint included working as a calibration specialist on aircraft carriers, she added.

Clayton had worked for Amazon for just over a year as a maintenance mechanic, Carla Cope said. His father also worked at the facility in the same position.

“Had (Clay) not been there, his father would have,” she said.

Carla Cope said she last spoke with Clay shortly before the tornado hit. She told him the storm was coming and remembers him talking to someone nearby, telling them they needed to go make sure the other employees knew as well.

Other victims at the Amazon warehouse

Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn released the names of the others who died at the Amazon distribution center. They were Deandre Morrow, 28, of St. Louis, Missouri; Kevin Dickey, 62, of Carlyle, Illinois; Etheria Hebb, 34, of St. Louis, Missouri; Larry Virden, 46, of Collinsville, Illinois, and Austin McEwen, 26, of Edwardsville, Illinois.

CNN’s Kevin Conlon, Elizabeth Joseph, Brynn Gingras, Sarah Boxer, Beth English, Andy Rose and Gregory Lemos contributed to this report.

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