Three Storm Chasers Killed in Crash While Tracking Tornado

The two vehicles collided at a rural intersection amid severe storms in Texas.

byKyle Cheromcha|
Three Storm Chasers Killed in Crash While Tracking Tornado

Three storm chasers, including two Weather Channel contractors, were killed on Tuesday when their vehicles collided at a rural intersection as they pursued a tornado in northwest Texas, according to the state's Department of Public Safety.

Authorities say Kelley Gene Williamson, Randall Delane Yarnall, and Corbin Lee Jaeger were all actively working as storm chasers in an area just outside the small town of Spur as severe thunderstorms spawned several funnel clouds and at least one reported tornado. But at around 3:30pm local time, the Chevrolet Suburban driven by Williamson and Yarnall ran a stop sign on a back road and smashed into Jaeger's Jeep Patriot. Williamson wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was ejected; all three were killed instantly. Fox News obtained pictures showing both cars almost smashed beyond recognition. 

Williamson, 57 and Yarnall, 55, worked as contractors for the Weather Channel, and the station issued a statement on their deaths calling the two men "beloved." Jaeger was only 25, but he appeared excited about his chosen career, posting a picture of his Jeep on Instagram a few hours before the crash with the caption "Waiting for them storms!" 

Storm chasing is already incredibly risky work, but this tragedy highlights one of its less obvious dangers. Severe weather is forecast over a large swath of the south on Wednesday - drive safe.

The intersection where the crash took place. Coordinates., Google Maps