3 storm chasers killed in Texas crash while tracking tornado
- Author: Larry Hoffman Mar 30, 2017,
Mar 30, 2017, 7:52
"Is it worth it, is it worth somebody's life to go see a tornado", Fox said. It is now unclear whether or not Jaeger was with Williamson and Yarnall or was simply following the same tornado that occurred in Dickens County.
"Five or six years ago we didn't have this you could have one or two people on the storm".
"Certainly you want to be cognizant of speed limits, if the road is wet, or there is hail on the road you have to be careful", said storm spotter Jesse Risley. The storm system is moving eastward after striking Tuesday in Texas and Oklahoma, where a truck driver was killed when high winds toppled his semitrailer.
Today's deaths marked the deadliest day in storm chasing since four storm chasers were killed on May 31, 2013 in a storm near El Reno, Oklahoma. Forecasters say the biggest risk Tuesday is for "very large" hail though tornadoes and powerful winds are still possible.
When asked for an interview Wednesday, a Weather Channel spokesman said no one was available.
The latest tragedy just underscored the risks of speeding after storms to capture meteorological data and hair-raising video - a field that has become crowded in recent years with seasoned professionals, amateur weather enthusiasts and thrill-seekers who like getting their names and footage on TV. Also thousands of other customers in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana were without power, various utilities reported. He says one person was in one vehicle and two in their other, but he could not match up occupants with vehicles. But some scientists lamented the rise of a post-"Twister" culture of storm chasing that elevated sensationalism over safety.
Fallen tree limbs and rising waterways were among the obstacles for motorists during the Wednesday morning commute.
Kelley Williamson, 57, Randy Yarnall, 55, and Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, all died instantly, according to police.
Williamson and Yarnall are from Cassville, Missouri, while Jaeger is from Peoria, Arizona. Mr Yarnall was a passenger in the Suburban.
Billy Wade, who knew all three of the men killed in the accident, said that he had talked to Yarnall about 10 days earlier. The crash happened at a remote intersection about 55 miles southeast of Lubbock. "There was a rain-wrapped tornado on radar and our guys were slowly backing out of the area at the time".
All three died, and now the chaser community, including those in South Florida, say roads crowded with storm enthusiasts and competition fueled by media producers hungry for livestreaming video is making the storm itself the least risky part of the chase.
There were at least 14 reports of tornadoes on Tuesday, with all of them in Texas, as well as dozens of wind damage and hail reports. Forecasters confirmed a 95 miles per hour (150 kph) wind gust in the area when the crash occurred.