Alabama player ‘pretty beat up,’ girlfriend killed in direct path of Tuscaloosa storm

Matt Hinton

Given the death and destruction it wreaked across the rest of the cut, it hardly seems worth noting what the tornado that destroyed Tuscaloosa Wednesday afternoon didn't hit. But the University of Alabama covered from the storm almost miraculously unscathed, as did Bryant-Denny Stadium, which barely avoided a direct hit.

Many students who live around the campus, however, cannot say the same. Among that number: Crimson Tide longsnapper Carson Tinker (right), who found himself directly in the twister's path, according to coach Nick Saban. "His house was completely destroyed. He was thrown probably 50 yards from the house," Saban told ESPN's College Football Live this afternoon. "He has concussion. Has a fractured wrist. Pretty beat up but is stable and will be fine."

From there, the story gets much worse. According to multiple reports from her native Texas, Tinker's girlfriend, 22-year-old Ashley Harrison, went missing during the storm and was found dead this morning more than 100 yards from the destroyed apartment, after her parents flew in from Dallas on Wednesday night.

University president Robert Witt confirmed today that two Alabama students (whom he did not name) are among the dozens of casualties across the city. Statewide, the death toll is approaching 200. Amid "massive devastation," Gov. Robert Bentley said today the priority remains recovering more dead and injured: "Right now, it's search and rescue."

You can donate to the mid-Alabama chapter of the Red Cross here, or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to add $10 for relief to your next phone bill.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.