Young tornado victim gets promise of free college tuition

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama boy whose parents were killed in a tornado this month has received donations including the promise of free college tuition.

State Sen. Garlan Gudger Jr. told the Decatur Daily that Wallace State Community College in Hanceville has offered two years of tuition to 8-year-old Landen Godsey, who remains hospitalized in Birmingham in critical condition but is improving.

The boy's parents, Chase and Keisha Godsey, were killed when a tornado struck their double-wide mobile home in Lawrence County on Dec. 16.

The University of Alabama System Foundation also will help fund the Landen's education, Gudger said, and about $60,000 has been raised for his family and other storm victims.

County commissioner Jesse Byrd said heavy rains and the Christmas holiday have slowed cleanup work since the storms, but he is impressed by the support the area has received.

“People have really gone to bat working and giving of their time and money,” he said. “It’s been a huge effort from Lawrence County and surrounding counties.”

Three other people who were injured in the storms remain hospitalized.