NEW MINDEN, Ill. -- A coroner has identified a southern Illinois brother and sister who died when a tornado destroyed their farmhouse near the village of New Minden.
Washington County Coroner Mark Styninger says 80-year-old Joseph Hoy died at the scene of the tornado that hit Sunday afternoon. His body found about 100 yards from the farmhouse.
Styninger says 78-year-old Frances Hoy was pulled from the rubble but died later at a hospital.
Village President Candi Cross says a New Minden church lost its steeple in the storm that toppled headstones in a nearby cemetery. A metal roof was peeled off a convenience store. But she says the 250-resident village escaped the brunt of the storm when the twister that was coming across a field suddenly turned away from town.
A survey team with the National Weather Service assessed damage in the area and categorized the tornado in New Minden as an EF4. NWS estimated winds in the tornado reached 166 mph and was at least 3 miles wide.
The Red Cross responded to the area to help any displaced families.