Storm chaser Tim Samaras, 55, was killed Friday, May 31, in the tornado that ravaged El Reno, Oklahoma. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Tim Samaras Was Considered a Storm Chasing Expert
Tim Samaras was considered a leader in storm chasing expertise and worked with 7NEWS, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, Boeing, and the federal government.
He was known throughout the show and the chase community as a conscientious and safety-minded chaser, and TWISTEX research has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.
2. He Was Killed Alongside His Son, Paul Samaras, and Chase Partner Carl Young
They are among five people confirmed dead from the tornado that rocked El Reno, including a mother and young child.
Jim Samaras, Tim’s brother, took to Facebook to confirm the deaths:
Paul Samaras was 24 and Carl Young was 45.
3. TWISTEX Also Confirmed the Deaths
4. They Died in Their Storm Chasing Vehicle
An Oklahoma news organization says these deaths occurred in vehicles. Numerous tractor trailers were overturned and multiple cars flipped in the destructive storms. And several storm chasers, including a crew from The Weather Channel, experienced vehicle damage while narrowly escaping serious injury or death.
— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) June 1, 2013
5. They Are the First Confirmed Storm Chasers to Die in Action
According to Digital Meteorologist, they are the first people known to be killed while chasing storms.
Discovery will dedicate the Sunday, June 2 special “Mile Wide Tornado: Oklahoma Disaster” to the trio’s memory. They don’t appear in the series, but the memorial card will read: “In memory of Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras who died Friday, May 31st doing what they love, chasing storms.”