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Who was Brian Crick? District judge among 80 killed in tornadoes that ravaged Kentucky

As recovery efforts gather pace, the judge and a three-year-old boy are the first identified victims of the killer twisters in Kentucky
UPDATED DEC 13, 2021
The damaged Mayfield courthouse (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) with an insert of district judge Brian Crick (Kentucky Courts)
The damaged Mayfield courthouse (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) with an insert of district judge Brian Crick (Kentucky Courts)

After a historic quad-state tornado ripped through Kentucky, around 80 people have been estimated dead as of December 12 in the state. Overall, at least 94 people are estimated to have died from the twisters that ripped through Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana, and Kentucky among other states. The full scale of the death and destruction is still being estimated, but so far, the news doesn't look good.

Hundreds were left trapped as a result of the deadly twisters, especially in Mayfield, Kentucky, which bore the brunt of the weather. Another tornado ripped through an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, killing a few employees and leaving others trapped as part of the facility collapsed. Both President Joe Biden and FEMA have warned that global warming could cause more such devastating tornadoes, as the twisters appear with alarming frequency.


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Over 24 hours since they struck, we have some information on the victims of the disaster in Kentucky. Governor Andy Beshear in December 12 morning confirmed 80 people were dead so far, noting that the death toll "is going to exceed more than 100. This is the deadliest tornado event we've ever had." Of the 80 dead, one has been identified as Kentucky District Judge Brian Crick.

Kentucky district judge Brian Crick. (Brian Crick/Facebook)

Victims of twister identified

The Kentucky Supreme Court confirmed the death of Crick through a brief statement on social media. "We are especially heartbroken to get the news that District Judge Brian Crick, who served McLean and Muhlenberg counties, lost his life during the storm," they said. It's unclear where he was at the time of the storm, but we do know the Graves County Courthouse in Mayfield was heavily damaged. 


Who was Brian Crick?

Crick was first elected to the court in 2010 and re-elected without opposition in 2014. Little is known about him beyond the fact he's an alumnus of Western Kentucky University and Salmon P. Chase School of Law at Northern Kentucky University. It is reported he is survived by his wife and three children, who make frequent appearances in his social media posts. 

At least 60 people are feared dead at a candle factory in Mayfield, while around 40 have been rescued so far. Governor Beshear who visited the scene noted, "There's at least 15ft of metal with cars on top of it, barrels of corrosive chemicals that are there. It'll be a miracle if anybody else is found alive in it." The city has been described as a "ghost town" in the aftermath of the tornado, with widespread damage visible all over Mayfield. 

An emergency has been declared in Kentucky, with President Biden releasing federal emergency funds to the state. The Kentucky National Guard has also been activated, as rescue efforts are now in full swing. If you wish to help the victims of the tornadoes, both the Red Cross and Salvation Army have set up a dedicated fund for the tornado. The Governor also announced a separate state fund, which has raised around $2.3 million so far.