Alabama mesh bag
Courtesy of: Amelia J. Brackin
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, April 29. THE Southeastern Conference has been filled with sorrow the past week with Florida diving coach Donnie Craine dying in a boat accident, and the hits kept coming when news broke this morning that Alabama swimmer John Servati died as part of a tornado hitting Tuscaloosa last night.

Servati, 21, a junior swimmer at Alabama was killed according to school spokesperson Shane Dorrill. Servati died at the DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa after being injured at a house near the university campus. He had been taking cover in the basement of a home.

"I understand that he was in a house off-campus and was hit by a retaining wall," Dorrill said. "I don't know how it happened. I do know he was with his girlfriend and she is uninjured."

More information has since been revealed that Servati reportedly died a hero as he held up a retaining wall to allow his girlfriend to escape before being crushed by the wall.

Servati was a freestyle and backstroke swimmer for the Crimson Tide, having helped the team to a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships last month.

"John Servati was an extraordinary young man of great character and warmth who had a tremendously giving spirit," Alabama head coach Dennis Pursley said in a university statement. "During this incredibly difficult time, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to all who had the good fortune to know him. He will forever be in our hearts and a part of the Crimson Tide legacy."