Three University of Oklahoma meteorology students killed successful their SUV’s clang with a tractor-trailer were returning from chasing a tornado successful Kansas, authorities said.
Nicholas Nair, 20; Gavin Short, 19; and Drake Brooks, 22, had followed a tornado adjacent Herrington, Kansas, and were returning to their schoolhouse successful Norman, Oklahoma, Friday nighttime erstwhile their Volkswagen Tiguan SUV hydroplaned connected rainy Interstate 35, skidded into the extracurricular lane and stopped, according to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.
An oncoming tractor-trailer slammed into their vehicle, pinning the 3 students wrong the wreckage for much than 5 hours, constabulary said. They were declared dormant astatine the scene, successful Tonkawa, adjacent the Kansas border, erstwhile rescue crews extricated them. The tractor-trailer operator was treated astatine a infirmary and released.
“Storm chasing was his passion,” Nair’s mother, Kate Nair, told WFAA-TV successful Carrollton, Texas, wherever his household lives. “Broadcasting was his passion.”
Nair’s brother, Keane, spoke to his member by telephone earlier the clang and heard his excitement aft the 3 had seen their archetypal tornado arsenic a group.
“They were like, this is simply a immense milestone for them,” Keane Nair told WFAA. “He was conscionable happy. That’s the champion mode God could person received him.”
At the University of Oklahoma, the 3 students were remembered for their devotion to meterology.
“Their pursuit of that calling is admirable and serves arsenic an inspiration to america all,” assemblage President Joseph Harroz, Jr. said successful a statement. “We are immensely grateful for their lives and the interaction each of them had.”
The National Weather Service successful Norman dedicated a weather balloon to the students connected Saturday.