A man who grew up in Colorado is one of three weather chasers killed in a head-on collision. The Texas Department of Public Safety said the two died Tuesday along with another storm chaser, 25-year-old Corbin Lee Jaeger of Peoria, Arizona.
The storm chasers were driving toward a storm when officials say a black Suburban ran a stop sign at an intersection and collided with a black Jeep. The crash came as a line of severe storms moved through the eastern South Plains and Rolling Plains, triggering several tornado warnings, including in the Spur area, according to the National Weather Service in Lubbock. "When there are a lot of people out there, the probability is high that someone will actually get photos of the phenomenon, and you can compare what chasers are seeing with what you're seeing on Doppler radar".
"Kelley and Randy were beloved members of the weather community", the statement reads.
The identities of the storm chasers were not immediately available.
Roughly two years ago Williamson's extreme hobby landed him a spot with The Weather Channel and he asked Yarnall to join his team.
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.
Stronger storms are expected on Thursday in parts of MS and Tennessee.
Billy Wade, who knew all three of the men killed in the accident, said that he had talked to Yarnall about 10 days earlier.
Severe thunderstorms have shifted into the Mississippi Valley, producing a tornado near Houston, and will continue to track eastward through Thursday.
"We're pretty careful", Shelby Nichols said. They died after their cars slammed into each other near Spur on Tuesday night, police said.
It was not the first time storm chasers were killed trying to document violent weather up close.
"We have all made mistakes", Gammons said.
Jaeger chased storms for MadWX Chasing, according to its website. "And the thing with Kelley and Randy is - they had a huge fan base and worked to publicly stream [storms]". In the decades since the first death, when a University of Oklahoma meteorology student's auto swerved off the road in 1984, the few storm chasers who died perished in automobile accidents. Wade and Williamson were the best of friends. They were there to pay their respects at an anniversary to remember the victims. Wade said of his friend that he would "still be at my wedding in spirit".