Stories of sadness and survival in Pleasant Grove

One of the most devastated areas in Jefferson County was the town of Pleasant Grove where eight people died during the tornado.

The violent storm flung cars and heavy machinery as if they were toys, and completely flattened hundreds of homes, tearing them limb from limb. Video: Shock, sadness and survival; Video: Pleasant Grove citizens react to the storm damage

Fox 6 reporter Ronda Robinson and photographer Brandon Riggins became part of the story the Wednesday night, taking turns carrying a man on a stretcher and using their camera light to help crews get through the debris. Video: Fox 6 crew helps injured man in Pleasant Grove

Also that night, Fox 6 reporter Melanie Posey made contact with a family who couldn't find their seven-week old baby boy, William Tucker Lowe. Sadly the baby's mother didn't make it through the storm and during their rescue a worker handed the baby off to someone and asked them to take care of him.

Fox 6 showed a picture of the baby and not long after, the woman who had Baby Lowe heard about the story and was able to return him safely to his father. Video: The heartbreaking tale of Baby Lowe

Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik made the decision to come to Pleasant Grove after his teams scheduled trip to the White House was canceled because of the tragedy. A few of his players also made the trip to help and described the situation as "mind blowing." Video: Auburn coach and athletes help clean up Pleasant Grove

"As you drive through you just try to imagine the horror as that went through in those five or ten minutes when the tornado came through and I just don't think anybody can imagine the horror trying to protect your family," Chizik said.

Wednesday May 4, the Jefferson County Board of Education took a moment of silence to remember some of those lost in the storm, including Tracy Traweek, 39 of Pleasant Grove, who worked as a school assistant for curriculum instruction at the board. Traweek was a mother of three.

Tragedy piled on top of tragedy, after four Florida men were arrested May 2 on charges of looting. The Sheriff's department said deputies caught the men in Pleasant Grove looting tornado victims' houses and stealing from Alabama Power. Each man was posing as a relief contractor.Video: Four arrested in Pleasant Grove for looting

Still, there were many more stories of survival than tragedy in Pleasant Grove. One man held up a brick wall for 30 minutes so it wouldn't land on his wife; neighbors used car jacks to prop up a wall, saving two young children. Video: Pleasant Grove families remember, recover.

Several people are also attributing their survival to incredible coincidences. A kitchen fire before the storm was a blessing in disguise for one family, and picking up grandpa a few minutes earlier than normal was another. Video: Hueytown baseball coach thankful his house caught fire; Video: Random act saves man's life in Pleasant Grove