US & Canada

Three tornado chasers die in Texas crash

State officials are investigating the crash Image copyright AP
Image caption State officials are investigating the collision

Three people have died in a car crash while chasing a suspected tornado in a remote part of west Texas.

The accident happened when a driver went through a stop sign at a rural crossroads and crashed into an oncoming vehicle.

Kelley Williamson, 57, Randy Yarnall, 55, and Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, all died instantly, according to police.

Officials say a tornado warning was in effect at the time of the crash, but it's unclear what role weather played.

Heavy rain was reported at the time of the crash and officials are investigating.

Nearby, in Oklahoma, a truck driver was killed when high winds pushed his trailer off of the interstate.

Forecasters have confirmed wind gusts of up to 95mph (152kph) near Oklahoma city, where the crash occurred.

The storms brought tennis ball-sized hail and powerful winds, but there were no reports of widespread damage in either state.

The storms are expected to move eastward on Thursday, threatening millions of people in Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Texas and Louisiana.

Image copyright Weather Channel
Image caption Williamson and Yarnall had been featured on the Weather Channel

Williamson and Yarnall had been contractors for the Weather Channel TV network, and were featured on the show Storm Wranglers which aired in October.

"Kelley and Randy were beloved members of the weather community," the company said in a statement.

"We are saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved."

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt John Gonzalez said the accident occurred around 15:30 local time near the town of Spur when an SUV driven by Williamson slammed into a Jeep driven by Jaegar.

Other storm chasers in the area took to social media to post condolences.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

Three storm chasers died in 2013, pursuing a storm that had killed 13 people in Oklahoma City.