Thursday, May 5, 2022

Haunting final selfie of three storm chasers who died chasing a tornado

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Three meteorology students studying Friday’s devastating tornado in Oklahoma lost their lives when their car hydroplaned in treacherous conditions, leaving them in the lane of an oncoming truck

Three US storm chasers died in a horrific car crash on Friday after following the course of a highly destructive tornado.

Nicholas Nair, Gavin Short and Drake Brook were killed when they lost control of their car in treacherous conditions about 85 miles north of Oklahoma City.

A haunting final selfie, uploaded just before the crash, shows the trio inside the vehicle.

The three University of Oklahoma meteorology students had tracked a tornado that ripped through Kansas, destroying hundreds of homes.

No casualties were reported from the tornado itself, but the three men, aged between 19 and 22, died after the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan briefly aquaplaned on the wet road and eventually came to a stop in front of oncoming traffic, where it struck became a truck.

It took more than five hours for Tonkawa Fire Department officers and paramedics to remove the bodies of the victims from the rubble.

The driver of the truck that collided with the students’ car suffered minor injuries and has since been released from a hospital.

Fellow student Leigh O’Neil said the selfie they shared summed up the characters of the funniest people she’d ever met.

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“You couldn’t be around them without laughing to your death,” O’Neil said, adding, “They really would do anything to help others, even before their own welfare.”

“You are already greatly missed. Her loss is incredibly painful for all of us.”

Gavin Short’s younger brother Evan, 17, said he was happiest at Oklahoma University and “lived more in his year and a half at OU than he did in his first 18 years of life.”

“I find solace in the idea that he can now live beneath the clouds he loved so much,” he added.

The storm the three young men were chasing had done much more damage than expected and Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell said some homes in the area were “completely blown away”.

Search and rescue operations continued throughout the weekend, with more than 200 rescue workers sifting through the rubble.

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