Update: Another storm chaser death: Amateur chaser killed in path of Oklahoma twister
A Colorado storm chaser, known as one of the best in the world, along with his son and long-time storm chasing partner are among those killed during a violent tornado outbreak in Oklahoma on Friday.
Tim Samaras, 55, his son Paul Samaras, 24, and Carl Young, 45, died while chasing the confirmed EF-3 tornado near El Reno, relatives said.
“Thank you to everyone for the condolences. It truly is sad that we lost my great brother Tim and his great son, Paul,” said Jim Samaras in a statement.
“Our hearts also go out to the Carl Young family as well as they are feeling the same feelings we are today. They all unfortunately passed away but doing what they LOVED. Chasing Tornado’s. “
“I look at it that he is in the ‘big tornado in the sky…’ We (the family) will keep folks aware of what the funeral estrangements are, but please in the meantime keep Tim and Paul in your thoughts and prayers,” said Jim.
Friends and family say Tim Samaras, a native of Lakewood, Colo., was synonymous for his storm chasing efforts. He spent more than 30 years in awe of tornadoes and trying to figure out how they work. He is credited with changing the science of chasing.
He worked with the Denver area news stations, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, Boeing, and the federal government in an effort to get information out there about tornadoes and share his experiences with these violent storms.
Samaras founded TWISTEX, the Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes Experiment, to help learn more about tornadoes and increase lead time for warnings.
He holds the Guinness World Record for the greatest pressure drop ever measured inside a tornado.
Samaras last tweet was Friday afternoon before the deadly tornado outbreak unfolded: “Dangerous day ahead for OK, stay weather savvy.”
Carl Young, a California native, joined Samaras in the field in 2003. According to his Discovery Channel biography, Young and Samaras captured over 125 tornadoes together.
The deaths are believed to be the first case of storm chasers losing their lives to a tornado. In 2012, storm chaser Andy Gabrielson died while driving home from a chase when a wrong-way driver struck his vehicle on Interstate 44 in Sapulpa, Okla.
Nine people in all were reported killed in the tornadoes that swept across central Oklahoma Friday evening. Two others died in severe floods that followed from record-breaking rainfall.
More than 100 people were injured including a storm chasing crew from The Weather Channel, that was thrown some 200 yards in their storm chase vehicle off of a interstate by the same deadly tornado.
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