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Riley Leon is riding in style.
The 16-year-old Texan survived a harrowing and bizarre ordeal last week, when a storm chaser’s camera inadvertently captured the moment that a tornado near Austin tipped his Chevy pickup onto its side then blew it back onto its wheels, allowing him to drive away to safety.
“It was my first time being in a tornado, and hopefully my last time,” he told Fox 7 in Austin.
Leon, who was on the way home from a job interview at a Whataburger restaurant.
The truck was severely damaged, Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet in Fort Worth and the automaker worked together to give him a brand new 2022 Silverado Texas Edition pickup on Saturday.
“When we saw the video, we were all very moved,” Don Wagner, regional director for Chevrolet, said.
“You see what happened, and you think about your child being in that truck spinning around, so honestly, we were just really pleased and grateful he was safe, and as soon as we recognized it, we immediately tried to reach out, tried to find him.”
Along with the truck, which is worth over $50,000, the dealer also gave Leon $15,000 for expenses. Leon fractured his back in the incident and may require surgery, but his family has no health insurance, according to the Austin American-Statesman
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One of his high school teachers set up a Go Fund Me page to help, and wrote that “he is a lovely, bright student making plans to graduate next year and could genuinely use some love from our community and anyone else who may have viewed this video and prayed for the passengers.”