Onalaska couple killed when large tornado rips through home

ONALASKA, Texas (KTRK) -- A couple died in their home Wednesday evening when an EF-3 tornado ripped through their town.

The parents of 26-year-old Brooke Ivey said their daughter and her boyfriend, Taylor Holbert, were among the three people killed in Polk County.

SEE MORE: Tornado that killed 3 in Polk County was an EF-3, weather service says

"She just had her birthday," Ivey's mother said. "We lost both of them today."

According to social media posts from Ivey's friends, the couple worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice released the following statement:
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is saddened to announce the deaths of two employees as a result of the Polk County tornado. 29-year-old Taylor Holbert was an employee of the Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Logistics Division. He worked over three years as an Industrial Specialist. 27-year-old Brooke Ivey was an employee of the Business and Finance Division. She had worked for TDCJ for over 6 years most recently as a Contracts Specialist in Contracts and Procurement. Both were killed when the tornado struck near Onalaska yesterday evening causing extensive damage and leaving dozens of others injured and homeless. Two other extended family members were seriously injured and are hospitalized. Holbert's mother is also a TDCJ employee.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this tragic act of nature," said Bryan Collier the Executive Director of TDCJ. "To lose two valued employees so young is especially difficult. TDCJ is a family. We will all stand with the Holbert and Ivey families in this trying time."

"We would like people to know who she was, and that we loved her very much," Ivey's parents said.

Ivey also had a Yorkshire terrier. Her family believes it may have died in the storm.

Their funeral is set for Tuesday, April 28.

To offer their family help with funeral expenses, medical bills and the loss of the house, donations can be made on this GoFundMe page.

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