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Three Storm Chasers Were Killed While Pursuing A Tornado In Texas

Two of the victims were contractors for the Weather Channel.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Three storm chasers were killed Tuesday afternoon when their vehicles collided while pursuing a tornado in central Texas.

The crash occurred when a black Chevrolet Suburban drove through a stop sign near the town of Spur and slammed into a Jeep, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. The drivers of both vehicles, as well as one passenger, were all declared dead at the scene.

DPS now confirms the three victims in this deadly Dickens crash are storm chasers.

The Weather Channel identified two of the victims as Kelley Williamson and Randy Yarnall, both contractors for the cable network who were featured in Storm Wranglers, a two-week special that aired last year.

"Kelley and Randy were beloved members of the weather community," the Weather Channel said in a statement Tuesday. "We are saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved."

Williamson and Yarnell had been livestreaming video of their drive through Texas before Tuesday's crash. The video abruptly stops after the pair approach an intersection in the road.

Authorities identified the third victim, who was in the Jeep, as Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, of Peoria, Arizona, KCBD reported. Jaeger was part of MadWX, which states on its website that he had been chasing storms since 2014.

Texas DPS did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News requests for more information. However, CNN reported that both vehicles were pursuing a tornado at the time of the collision.

Video from fatal accident in West Texas. Multiple reports on Twitter that storm chasers were involved (vid from… https://t.co/9PQjZik3Vs

The crash occurred at about 3:30 p.m., around the same time a tornado warning was issued for the area. Video shared Tuesday afternoon by KTXS showed a tornado touching down near Stamford, Texas, about 80 miles from Spur.

A photo from another storm chaser in the area showed a tornadic storm west of Spur near the time of the deadly crash.

Tornado at location now west of Spur TX.#txwx

The accident prompted an outpouring of condolences from other members of the storm chasing community.

RIP Kelley Williamson and Randy Yarnall. Great guys. Terrible loss to the weather community. Thoughts are with their families tonight.

Tragedy strikes our community once again, confirming 3 storm chasers killed west of Spur TX. Now is the time to pray not share names.#txwx

Extremely bad news west of Spur TX. I'm at a scene of triple fatality accident two are storm chasers. #txwx @NWSLubbock

Lost 3 great chasers today. One was a friend & member of the #AZWX community. I’ll sure miss your passion for weather & aviation. RIP Corbin


Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jim Dalrymple II at jim.dalrymple@buzzfeed.com.

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