- (Photo: Reuters/Bill Waugh)
Three storm chasers have been killed by the violent tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area last week, if was confirmed on Sunday.
Family members confirmed the deaths of Tim Samaras, his 24 year old son Paul Samaras, and Carl Young.
Tim Samaras was known as a veteran storm chaser and considered a leader in tornado research and data collection.
The trio died as they were tracking an EF-3 tornado that hit the Oklahoma City suburb of El Reno on Friday night.
The three victims had featured on the Discovery Channel's hit show, "Storm Chasers," which aired for five years before ending in 2011.
Jim Samaras, brother to Tim, took to the victim's Facebook page to announce: "They all unfortunately passed away but doing what they LOVED. I look at it that he is in the 'big tornado' in the sky."
David Payne, a meteorologist with KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City has said, "Tim was a veteran storm chaser. He's not what I call a cowboy chaser. He didn't show up once a year to go see a storm."
Samaras and Young had together chronicled more than 125 tornadoes together, and were hugely respected in their field.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the trio were heralded as within a group of storm chasers who put research ahead of thrill-seeking.
Mark Wiley, a National Weather Service meteorologist said, "Unfortunately, these three were part of the group much more interested in the research aspect of it."
The Weather Channel's Mike Bettes, whose truck was tossed in the air more than 200 yards by the same tornado that killed the trio, has described to CNN: "I think this was just an erratic tornado. I think the size of it and the speed of it changed very, very quickly. I think the direction of movement changed quickly. And I think there were a lot of people out there that, you know, ended up getting stuck in positions we didn't want to be in."