3 storm chasers killed while chasing tornado

Three storm chasers, including a pair of Weather Channel contractors, were killed Tuesday while chasing a tornado in Texas, authorities said.

They were pronounced dead at the scene of a two-vehicle crash about 5 miles west of Spur, officials said.

The crash occurred when a black Suburban traveling north on Farm to Market Road 1081 about 3:30 p.m. ran through a stop sign and collided with a Jeep traveling west on Farm to Market Road 2794, according to Sgt. John Gonzalez of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Authorities identified the driver of the Suburban as Kelley Gene Williamson, 57, of Cassville, Missouri. The Suburban’s passenger was Randall Delane Yarnall, 55, also of Cassville. The Jeep’s driver was identified as Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, of Peoria, Arizona.

Authorities said Williamson was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. Yarnall and Jaeger were wearing their seat belts.

Williamson and Yarnall were contractors for the Weather Channel, the station said in a statement.

The two “were beloved members of the weather community. We are saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved,” the Weather Channel said.

Lt. Bryan Witt of the DPS said the three were chasing a tornado in Dickens County.

There was a confirmed tornado reported about the same time, according to CNN Weather.

Spur is nearly 70 miles east of Lubbock.