More information is emerging on three meteorology from the University of Oklahomawhen his vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer in northern Oklahoma on Friday night. The students returned from chasing a officials confirmed, and had posted video of a tornado just hours before they were killed.
Nicholas Nair, 20, of Denton, Texas; Gavin Short, 19, of Grayslake, Illinois; and Drake Brooks, 22, of Evansville, Indiana, were killed in the crash shortly before 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report.
The three were in a vehicle Nair was driving south on Interstate 35 when the vehicle hydroplaned in Tonkawa, about 85 miles north of Oklahoma City, according to the report.
“It appears they hydroplaned, hit a barrier wall and then became disabled at interstate crossings,” OHP Lt. Phillip Ludwyck told KWTV.
The vehicle drove away and then returned to the interstate where it was struck by a southbound tractor-trailer, according to OHP. The three students were immobilized for more than 5 hours and were later removed by first responders at the scene.
“This terrible news hits hardest, of course, on those who knew Drake, Nic and Gavin best: their families, friends, faculty, staff and others important in their lives,” university president Joseph Harroz, Jr. wrote. . , in a Sunday letter. “Since their untimely deaths, there has been a tremendous outpouring of love and affection for each of them, not just at OU, but beyond.”
in a separate statementthe school’s Faculty of Atmospheric and Geographical Sciences urged students to seek help, if necessary, as “we all mourn this unthinkable heartbreak”.
Nair contributed to the university’s newscast, OU Nightly, and one of his weather reports was posted on the newscast’s website on Thursday.
“You think about the future they had and the intelligence and the wisdom and it’s heartbreaking to think that we lost three very talented young men,” Ludwyck told the station.
The semi-truck driver was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released, the OHP said.
The report said that it was raining at the time of the accident and that the road was wet.
“Drake, Nic and Gavin were united by a shared passion,” the university president wrote in his letter. “As we mourn this immeasurable and profound loss, we also remember the root of her chosen calling, which was to help others. Her pursuit of that calling is admirable and inspiring to all of us.”
On Saturday, the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma, dedicated its weather balloon launch to the three students.