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March tornado victim succumbs to injuries

HOLTON, Ind. – A southeastern Indiana man who was critically injured in last March’s deadly tornado outbreak has died from complications of his injuries.

Alvin “Ted” Tolbert, 71, died Tuesday at Mercy Hospital in Fairfield, Ohio, about 10 months after he and his wife, Brenda, were injured by a tornado that wrenched them from their home in the Ripley County town of Holton and flung them into a field.

Both broke their necks, but only Brenda Tolbert recovered from her injuries. Alvin had been on life support since the March 2 storm.

Alvin Tolbert was a former police dispatcher who was “like Superman,” his daughter Michelle Belanger told WRTV-TV. She said her father defied the odds many times over the years.

“I hear his words. I can hear his voice,” Belanger said. “He always told me, what you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth shall come to pass.”

A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles. Visitation hours will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Tolbert loved to laugh and possessed an “unwavering faith,” Belanger said. He was also a U.S. Navy veteran and served on the Holton Town Board for 12 years.

The tornado that struck the Tolberts’ home was part of a series of powerful storms blamed for the deaths of nearly 30 people in several states, including 13 people in southern Indiana, not including Tolbert.