In Memoriam Storm Chasers Killed In Tragic Accident in Texas (1 Viewer)


Brent

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I've been feeling punched in the gut ever since this story broke around 4pm... my boss at work(who I first told about it), has actually met Kelley recently and even more strange, yesterday we were just talking about him since he had been chasing locally on Sunday. It's just freaky and crazy that it can happen so fast.
 
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Location
rockford, IL
I knew it was Kelley and Randy from the moment Jeff Piotrowski tweeted about the accident, I just knew something was wrong when the stream cut out. I've been watching them for 3 years and I can't believe I'm never gonna see them online again. I feel so horrible for their families and I'm heartbroken that Corbin died so young. RIP.
 

Kory

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It is a very tragic wreck that could've been prevented had the driver, Williamson, been paying attention. Per the livestream, there was ample warning of the upcoming 2 way stop that they blew through and resulted in the collision that took both of Kelley and Randy's life as well as Corbin Jaeger's, who was traveling on the road without the stop sign. This was wrecklessness...it didn't have to happen.

It appears speed and not paying attention led to this....and I have a feeling this is going to change how big stations, such as TWC and others, contract chasers and shows for storm chasing. Considering the Texas State Police faulted the black SUV with TWC logo on it as the one in fault. I have a feeling TWC is going to be in big trouble.....

Edit: latest reports indicate Kelley Williamson was the driver.
 
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Peter Griffin

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Newport, NC
It is a very tragic wreck that could've been prevented had the driver, Randy Yarnell, been paying attention. Per the livestream, there was ample warning of the upcoming 2 way stop that they blew through and resulted in the collision that took both of Kelley and Randy's life as well as Corbin Jaeger's, who was traveling on the road without the stop sign. This was wrecklessness...it didn't have to happen.

It appears speed and not paying attention led to this....and I have a feeling this is going to change how big stations, such as TWC and others, contract chasers and shows for storm chasing. Considering the Texas State Police faulted the black SUV with TWC logo on it as the one in fault. I have a feeling TWC is going to be in big trouble.....
Yes and at 2:03:25 and 2:06:05 he does a 'rolling stop' at a couple of signs barely slowing down at all. I believe he was distracted and didn't see the final one. Sadly an accident that should have been avoided. 3 great lives have been lost. And sadly as you mentioned it is probably not the end of this, there are likely lawsuits to follow.
 

Pam G.

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Hazel Green, Alabama
Some very sad news out of Texas. Triple fatality car wreck involving 2 storm chasers. Doesn't appear to be directly caused by a storm....
I heard about that this morning, and I want to say to you all that may have know him, that I'm very sorry for your loss and that condolences to the their families too.
 

PerryW

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Am still just in shock. Not only was I a fan and admirer of Kelley Williamson, but we were friends. He wished me well......was hoping I could beat this cancer and go chasing with him. Now I'm just praying the Good Lord will let Kelley, Jim (Leonard), and me do a little storm chasing in heaven because it won't be long until I'm there too. I can't wait. Kelley was a great guy......a fun guy......someone I thought the world of. Fare thee well my friend. Cant wait to see you again :)
 

PerryW

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This is the kind of thing you always worry about when you have so many people converging on one or two storms as is the norm nowadays. Really terrible news.
Yes it was sadly bound to happen. Too many chasers, too many who are driving too fast, some wrecklessly, large unpredictable tornadoes and hail in the area. TWC almost lost Mike Bettes and two other employees the same day Tim Samaras, his son, and their parther got killed. It gets more dangerous every year......
 

KoD

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Yes it was sadly bound to happen. Too many chasers, too many who are driving too fast, some wrecklessly, large unpredictable tornadoes and hail in the area. TWC almost lost Mike Bettes and two other employees the same day Tim Samaras, his son, and their parther got killed. It gets more dangerous every year......
This compounded with being in rural areas, often times hundreds of miles from a trauma center.
 

Lori

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I don't think the video I posted last night is the final video (I wouldn't have posted it if it had been), Kelley isn't driving in this video (he tells Randy "turn left up there"), at that intersection, they were turning left and even though the video freezes at the intersection, there's almost 2 more minutes of dialogue....if the wreck had occurred at that intersection of the video freeze, it would have gone black (like was reported by those that saw the live feed as the wreck occurred) and there would have not been casual dialogue...
 

WesL

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New information on the timing of the SpotterNetwork tribute for the chasers lost yesterday.

 
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I wonder if this could have lasting effects on chasing in general...there was a fair bit of pressure to dramatically increase regulations after the El Reno tornado, with a few wanting to have storm chasing outlawed completely. The situation which ended up with Twistex being lost was beyond anyone's control and not forseeable at the time (up until then no tornado had ever been observed to double in size, triple in forward speed and pull a 50-degree turn all at once).

But this was a tragic case of a driver being distracted at the worst possible time, which means that Kelley and Randy will, unfortunately, probably be blamed for the accident. IMO in a situation like this, while there are people responsible, it's not really anyone's fault because there wasn't any malicious risk-taking or anyone who knew they were putting lives at risk.
 

Lori

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I wonder if this could have lasting effects on chasing in general...there was a fair bit of pressure to dramatically increase regulations after the El Reno tornado, with a few wanting to have storm chasing outlawed completely. The situation which ended up with Twistex being lost was beyond anyone's control and not forseeable at the time (up until then no tornado had ever been observed to double in size, triple in forward speed and pull a 50-degree turn all at once).

But this was a tragic case of a driver being distracted at the worst possible time, which means that Kelley and Randy will, unfortunately, probably be blamed for the accident. IMO in a situation like this, while there are people responsible, it's not really anyone's fault because there wasn't any malicious risk-taking or anyone who knew they were putting lives at risk.
Right now the media isn't "eating this up" yet, I know there's a lot of chatter in the weather community, it's hard for those that really respected Kelley and Randy to address this issue due to grief, if it does blow up, I think it will be for a few months then like in the El Reno situation, it will die down again till something else happens.
 

PerryW

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There should be increased regulations, but how can they realistically be enforced?
They can't, other than to run law enforcement gauntlets in areas where tornado chasers are congregating........and that really wouldnt be very smart, since when real large ntense tornadoes occur.......those officers, DPS units, etc will be needed for traffic, search/ rescue, transportating injured. All I can say is if you are a cop and see someone driving reckless or way over the posted limit, pull him over. If you are a chaser and observe a reckless chaser, report him to 911. That's about it........self policing and education is about all you can really do in most cases. People die in head on and rollover crashes on state and us highways caused by excessive speed, wreckless driving, (and dui) all the time, even in good weather. I lost several friends to it while growing up.......in and near my Georgia hometown. Speed kills. Carelesslessness kills too......but sadly it happens.
 

DDM

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Mark me down as one of those feeling absolutely destroyed by this. I've been watching Kelley for several years now; he was always my go-to because of the great video quality on his streams. Or more accurately, I came for the video quality and stayed for the personalities. I can't remember the last time I was so beaten up over the passing of a non family member. I guess when you armchair chase with people for several hours a day, dozens of times a month, you sort of start to feel like you know them.

Here's a screenshot I took off of Kelley's Severe Studios livestream during the Dodge City event last year that I think is a great image to remember him and Randy by:


I'm not a religious man, but I would like to think that Kelley, Randy and Corbin are chasing storms in a better place now - a place where all twisters are wedges and all wedges are in open fields for miles around. RIP
 

Lori

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Mark me down as one of those feeling absolutely destroyed by this. I've been watching Kelley for several years now; he was always my go-to because of the great video quality on his streams. Or more accurately, I came for the video quality and stayed for the personalities. I can't remember the last time I was so beaten up over the passing of a non family member. I guess when you armchair chase with people for several hours a day, dozens of times a month, you sort of start to feel like you know them.

Here's a screenshot I took off of Kelley's Severe Studios livestream during the Dodge City event last year that I think is a great image to remember him and Randy by:


I'm not a religious man, but I would like to think that Kelley, Randy and Corbin are chasing storms in a better place now - a place where all twisters are wedges and all wedges are in open fields for miles around. RIP
I flat out cried when my husband called and told me, I didn't know them at all but had been following them on their chases and loved that they were just good, humble country "boys".......I was clearing out my email and I had several notifications that "Kelley Williamson was Live on YouTube"....breaks my heart!
I love this picture!! Thanks for sharing!!
 

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