BREAKING NEWS: Storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras and a team member, Carl Young, all died while chasing a tornado in El Reno, OK, Friday. Tim Samaras and his son are among the 11 people killed — seven adults and two children , as well as 104 injured in the tornadoes and ensuing flash floods.
James C. Talbert died after he drove his vehicle off a washed out bridge at E Hefner and N Dobbs Road in eastern Oklahoma County early Saturday morning, the Oklahoma County sheriff’s office reported.
And the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that Dorenia Akins, 69, of Clearview drowned Saturday morning after driving into the high rushing waters of flooded Alabama Creek, south of Clearview on an Okfuskee County road.
More flooding deaths were feared. A rescue team from the Oklahoma City Fire Department was searching the Oklahoma River Saturday for several members of a family that took refuge in a drainage ditch and may have been swept into the river. The body of a 4-year-old from that family was recovered, but it was unclear Saturday whether his death was included in the count provided by the medical examiner’s office. Source: NewsOK
The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes was lucky to be alive, after his storm chase vehicle, with him in it, was tossed 200 yards in the El Reno storm. Two years ago he spoke out against trying to get too close to a tornado, saying:
An increasing trend I see happening is chasers try to get as close as possible to one-up their competition and cash in on dramatic video. And the one thing I always hear from professional chasers is how safety is their number one concern and warning the public is their number one priority. Me? I call BS on that one. While you’re being hit by debris and being flipped by your car by a tornado, you’re not very concerned about your safety or anyone else’s. You’re setting a bad example for a young generation of chasers who follow your lead.
Here are some images from the tornadoes:
— Sean Schofer (@SeanSchoferTVN) June 1, 2013
— Reed Timmer (@reedtimmerTVN) June 1, 2013
— Rob Hedrick (@DCRobTV) June 1, 2013