Victims of F-4 tornado identified

Conditions improve for those injured in weekend storms.
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:36 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 7, 2008

WEATHERBY — The conditions of four children injured when a tornado cut a destructive 50-mile path across northwest Missouri continued to improve Monday as more details emerged about the twister that left three people dead.

Storms pummeled the state during the weekend, leaving thousands without power and damaging or destroying dozens of homes, outbuildings and cars. Gov. Bob Holden flew across northwest Missouri to view the damage Monday after delivering a Memorial Day speech at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.

The worst of six tornadoes was rated as an F-4 by the National Weather Service. It moved along the De Kalb and Daviess county line late Saturday, leveling several homes and killing three people.

Victims of the twister were identified Monday as Patricia Stith, 60, and her mother, Mary Riley, 79, both of whom were in one home, and Clifford “Pete” Bethards, 49, whose mobile home was tossed from Daviess County across a gravel road into De Kalb County.

Stith’s husband, John Stith, 59, was in stable condition Monday at North Kansas City Hospital. Liberty Hospital said both of Bethards’ adult daughters, Melissa, 24, and Monica, 26, were in good condition.

Monica’s infant daughter, Adriana, was upgraded to serious condition and her 3-year-old daughter, Autumn, was in fair condition at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Two other children injured by the tornado, Derrick Sharp, 7, and Casey Sharp, 5, were also upgraded to serious condition Monday at Children’s Mercy. The boys’ mother, Christina, was in fair condition at the Cameron Regional Medical Center.

Sheriff’s officials in Daviess County said the tornado that hit the area late Saturday night destroyed at least 18 homes and between 30 and 40 vehicles.

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