The teen driver seen in a viral video of a red truck being tossed and turned by a Texas tornado is getting a brand new vehicle as a gift from a local dealership.
Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet in Fort Worth made the announcement in a Facebook post Thursday, just days after 16-year-old Riley Leon's fateful crossing of paths with one of more than a dozen twisters that struck Texas on Monday.
“We are thankful Riley is safe, commend his driving skills during a frightening situation, and our hearts are with other families in Texas that have been affected by these storms,” wrote Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet.
They added that Riley and his family would receive the new truck on Saturday.
As the funnel cloud and debris spin around Leon, his red Chevrolet Silverado is flipped on its side, rotated around once, and then flipped back upright again — and Leon continues driving.
Leon told NBC News affiliate KXAS-TV of Dallas said he had just applied for and got a job at Whataburger.
"Everything was going good, it was a nice good day for me" he said. Then, "out of nowhere," the twister came.
"It just happened so fast," he said. "It looks like I drove off but in reality I didn't; I just landed in the center of the road and I was just driving to get off on the side of the road," he said.
Elgin Police Dept. Commander Aaron Crim, who spoke to Leon after the incident, told NBC News affiliate KXAS-TV of Dallas he asked Leon if he was okay and "he just kinda shook his head and didn’t really answer me."
But after speaking to Leon, Crim saw the viral video.
“Now I understand why he had just come out with a blind stare,” Crim said. "He was probably scared to death.”
Forecasters last week warned of a dangerous weather situation for motorists in the heavily populated Dallas-Fort Worth metro area during Monday evening's rush hour.
On Monday night, their predictions came true: in addition to the tornado that flipped Leon's truck, over a dozen tornadoes raked Texas, killing one woman in Grayson County and knocking out power to tens of thousands of people.
Then on Tuesday the storm system moved east into Louisiana, where, according to the National Weather Service, an EF-3 tornado killed one man and left an 11-mile trail of destruction in Arabi and across the Mississippi River into New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward.
That tornado even lifted up an entire family's home while they were inside and dropped it nearby, sending the parents of a girl using a breathing machine scrambling out of the debris looking for help.