As the confirmed death toll in Kentucky hits 64, with dozens more deaths likely to be reported in the coming days, a heartbreaking story about an Amazon employee emerged yesterday. An employee who died in the tornado was told by the company not to leave the warehouse as the tornado descended upon an Amazon fullfilment center in Illinois. The New York Post Reports–
“One of the victims who was killed when a tornado collapsed an Amazon warehouse in Illinois texted his girlfriend before the deadly tornado struck saying that the company had ordered him to hold off driving home and stay put until the storm passed.
Larry Virden, 46, was killed Friday night when the roof came down at a massive Amazon facility.
“I got text messages from him. He always tells me when he is filling up the Amazon truck when he is getting ready to go back … I was like ‘OK, I love you.’ He’s like, ‘well Amazon won’t let me leave until after the storm blows over,’” his girlfriend of 13 years, Cherie Jones, told The Post on Sunday.”
Virden had worked for Amazon for 5 months and was a US Army Veteran who served in Iraq.
“He had a missile blow up in front of him like 200 yards away, so he was lucky over there,” His wife said.
“When he was over there, he made his peace with the maker so he was prepared to die. But we didn’t want him to die now,” she said, her voice rising.
Virden left behind a wife and four children, including one adopted child. His children are between the ages of 9 and 12.
Some Amazon employees are outraged at the failure of the company to protect their employees. “After these deaths, there is no way in hell I am relying on Amazon to keep me safe,” an Amazon employee from a neighboring facility in Illinois told the outlet. “If they institute the no-cellphone policy, I am resigning.”