A team of three veteran storm chasers were killed while doing what they love when the latest tornado swept through an Oklahoma City metro area. According to Detroit News on June 3, Tim Samaras, 54, his son Paul Samaras, 24 and their colleague Carl Young worked for the Storm Prediction Center in Norman Oklahoma and all three died Friday.
Jim Samaras, Tim’s brother, gave a statement to the Associated Press:
“He looked at tornadoes not for the spotlight of TV but for the scientific aspect. At the end of the day, he wanted to save lives and he gave the ultimate sacrifice for that.”
According to the Storm Prediction Center where the three men worked, it is believed this is the first time a tornado has taken the lives of the storm chasers pursuing it. This particular tornado was classified as an F3.
Tim Samaras was a veteran of the Discovery Channel’s series “Storm Chasers” and had appeared on the show until last year. He had also worked with the National Geographic Society.
A show on Sunday night on the Discovery Channel was dedicated to the storm chasers and this dedication followed it:
“In memory of Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras who died Friday, May 31st doing what they love, chasing storms.”
Safety was of the utmost concern to Tim Samaras and his team according to his brother Jim. The family seldom worried because they knew how seriously the storm chasers took their work and their safety. Jim said the men knew what to look for and where not to be.
“In this case the tornado took a clear turn toward them,” he said.
Friday’s storm was videotaped by a number of storm chasers. Debris pelted cars and winds knocked a vehicle carrying The Weather Channel team off the road, hurling it 200 yards before flipping it into a field. That team escaped serious injury.
Undersheriff Chris West of Canadian County, Okla., where Samaras and the others died, said the three men were trying to help by learning and understand more about violent storms.
Tim Samaras had received 18 grants from the National Geographic Society to enable him to do the work he loved. On their website, the society had this to say about him:
“Tim was a courageous and brilliant scientist who fearlessly pursued tornadoes and lightning in the field in an effort to better understand these phenomena.”
“Though we sometimes take it for granted, Tim’s death is a stark reminder of the risks encountered regularly by the men and women who work for us.”
Be sure to check out Theresa’s other columns:
Self-Sustained Living Examiner
Southern Illinois Day Trips Examiner
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