Texas tornado totals teen’s truck; Chevrolet gives him a new one


In a video gone viral, a Texas teen found his world spinning out of control as his red Chevrolet pickup truck was blown over and tossed about by tornadoes in the Elgin and Round Rock areas March 21. The twister near Austin overturned the red pickup truck driven by 16-year-old Riley Leon, then spun it 360 degrees on its side before flipping it back onto its four wheels. Leon amazed the internet by managing to drive away without life-threatening injuries.

Not surprisingly, the teen’s truck was totaled in the incident, but Leon handled it well. “It happened in the blink of an eye,” Leon told KVUE news, Austin’s ABC affiliate station. “When I landed on my wheels, my hands just landed in my lap and I saw everything.” Once he was able to pull over safely and look at the damage, Leon said it “broke me down. It’s a family-owned truck but I paid my family for it.”

Following the attention Leon’s experience has received online, Chevrolet announced that Leon and his family would be gifted with a 2022 red Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT All Star Edition to replace the ruined truck.

Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet dealership in Fort Worth held a ceremony on Saturday, March 26, to hand Leon the keys.

“We are thankful Riley is safe, commend his driving skills during a frightening situation, and our hearts are with other families in Texas that have been affected by these storms,” said the company in a Facebook post. “To help aid the recovery efforts in Texas, Chevy Cares is also donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

While Leon was able to walk away from the frightening encounter, the teenager did suffer a fractured back and experienced body aches and severe back pain. A Go Fund Me account has been set up to offset his medical expenses.