Three storm chasers were killed this week while tracking a tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma.
The three men — Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras, and Carl Young — were once featured on the Discovery Channel show Storm Chasers. Samaras also founded the company Twistex, the Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes Experiment, which studied tornadoes and other violent storms.
The company released a statement on its Facebook page, saying: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share this news… on Friday, May 31, Tim Samaras, his son, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young lost their lives in the El Reno, OK tornado. This is a devastating loss to the meteorological, research, and storm chasing communities. I ask that you keep the families in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. There is some comfort in knowing these men passed on doing what they loved… Your support means the world. Thank you.”
According to CNN, the storm chasers’ car was found at an intersection on Sunday morning. The vehicle had been “crushed like a tin can” and was “twisted beyond recognition.”
Local authorities did not provide details about the incident but Canadian County Undersheriff Chris West praised the man for their efforts to educate people about storms.
West said: “We also want to say that storm chasers and meteorologists and news stations, that’s part of the vital link in getting the word out to people so that they don’t become victims. A lot of these individuals have dedicated many years of their lives to going out and assisting and tracking storms, and getting footage and putting themselves in harm’s way so they can educate the public to the destructive power of these storms.”