CBS 2 Chicago wbbm7801059 670 The Score

Local

10 Years Ago This Weekend, Deadly Tornado Ripped Through Utica, Ill.

Rescue workers search through rubble for survivors of tornado damage April 21, 2004 in Utica, Illinois. Utica, located about 90 miles southwest of Chicago, is home to about 1,000 people and has sustained significant tornado damage leaving eight people dead. (Photo by Jean Lachat-Pool/Getty Images)

Rescue workers search through rubble for survivors of tornado damage April 21, 2004 in Utica, Illinois. Utica, located about 90 miles southwest of Chicago, is home to about 1,000 people and has sustained significant tornado damage leaving eight people dead. (Photo by Jean Lachat-Pool/Getty Images)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

(CBS) – Sunday is the tenth anniversary of the tornado that hit the small north central Illinois town of Utica, killing eight people.

The tornado flattened a century-old tavern in the town of about 1,000 people about 90 miles southwest of Chicago. Eight people were found dead in the rubble.

Jeremy Thorsen had just left the Milestone Tap when he saw a tornado hit the building.

He tells WBBM that his “first feeling was disbelief.”

“I had never seen anything like that in my life. After things were safe there was a gentleman down there in the middle of the road waving his arms frantically telling me, ‘You just drove through a tornado.’”

Ten Years Ago, Eight Killed By Tornado In Utica

WBBM 780/105.9FM

The four women and four men killed by the tornado will be remembered in a ceremony in Utica on Monday, one day after the 10-year anniversary.

Thorsen still thinks about what happened that day: “Live your life like every day is your last and be good to people.”