Inmate with broken leg and cracked ribs rescues tornado victims at candle factory, then turns himself in to police

He was offered probation, but he decided to fully serve his sentence.


The devastating tornado which struck Kentucky on December 10, 2021, claimed the lives of eight people who worked at the Mayfield Consumer Products factory, making it one of the most catastrophic sites in an outbreak of at least 30 tornadoes hitting across six states in the Midwest and South.

Among those working at the factory at the time of the disaster was an inmate named Marco Sanchez. He and six other inmates were there as part of a program. Unfortunately, the tornado caused the factory to collapse, leaving a number of people trapped under the rubble. Sanchez suffered serious injuries; a broken leg and cracked ribs. Luckily, he still managed to free himself.

“Mr. Sanchez after freeing himself, with a broken leg and cracked ribs, unselfishly went and found tools and other items and returned and re-entered the rubble,” Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden said in a Facebook post.

After rescuing a number of people, he went to the hospital and asked for help. He stayed some time there until he recovered and the first thing he did after being discharged from the hospital was approaching a state trooper asking to be taken to custody. Allegedly, the trooper told him he couldn’t do that at the moment because the Graves County jail was destroyed. Sanchez then went to a public shelter and asked to be put in contact with the jail staff.

After he turned himself in, Sanchez was taken to custody. He didn’t brag about saving anyone, he just explained how he needed to stay at the hospital for some time because of his injuries. It wasn’t until police learned of an inmate rescuing trapped people that they discovered it was Sanchez who saved them.

This kind-hearted man had 14 days left to serve and even though he was offered probation he decided to fully serve his sentence.

“We hope someone will take a chance on him and give him an opportunity to start a new life,” the sheriff wrote. “He is a hard worker, as he has been assisting county government in moving offices since the tornado, and he is a very humble man. We wish him the best and applaud him for his sense of humanity.”

One of the people who lost their life at the factory was deputy Robert Daniel who was overseeing the inmates.