DICKENS COUNTY, Tex. -- Three storm chasers were killed Tuesday while chasing a tornado in Texas, authorities said.
They were pronounced dead at the scene of a two-vehicle crash about 5 miles west of Spur, officials said.
The crash occurred when a black Suburban traveling north on Farm to Market Road 1081 about 3:30 p.m. ran through a stop sign and collided with a Jeep traveling west on Farm to Market Road 2794, according to Sgt. John Gonzalez of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Authorities identified the driver of the Suburban as Kelley Gene Williamson, 57, of Cassville, Missouri. The Suburban's passenger was Randall Delane Yarnall, 55, also of Cassville. The Jeep's driver was identified as Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, of Peoria, Arizona.
Authorities said Williamson was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. Yarnall and Jaeger were wearing their seat belts.
FOX 4 talked to a volunteer storm spotter for Douglas County Emergency Management. She said it’s a tight-knit business and she hates to learn of the news.
“It’s extremely sad, you know, it’s really, really tough in our organization, we are so focused on the safety, it just kind of breaks your heart,” said Kate Dinneen. “When we spot we stay in one spot, we don’t travel around and follow stuff which is not what most chasers do, they will keep moving to get a better view of the storm.”
Dinneen said storm chasing is a high-risk job for even the most experienced of chasers.
Lt. Bryan Witt of the DPS said the three were chasing a tornado in Dickens County.
There was a confirmed tornado reported about the same time, according to CNN Weather.
Spur is nearly 70 miles east of Lubbock.