University of Alabama Swimmer Dies in Tornado that Hit Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WHNT) – We are learning more about a storm-related death in Tuscaloosa.

Our news partner Al.com reports 21-year-old John Servati died late Monday.  He was originally from Tupelo, Mississippi and a junior of the University of Alabama swim team.

John Servati (Photo: University of Alabama)

John Servati (Photo: University of Alabama)

A Tuscaloosa spokesperson says Servati died after a retaining wall collapsed in the basement of his residence on 22nd Avenue.  He died at DCH Regional Medical Center, according to The Crimson White, the student newspaper.

A fellow swim team member says Servati held up a concrete wall long enough for his girlfriend to escape.

His swim coach described him as a man of great character and a giving spirit.

His teammate Anna Rae Gwarjanski described him as a hero.