Storm chasers obtain dramatic footage of dangerous weather events like tornadoes for television viewers in Virginia and other areas of the country to marvel at. Critics, including viewers and journalists alike, have raised concerns over whether the risks of driving into the areas where dangerous storms occur justifies the results.
A year ago, two men working for the Weather Channel allegedly ran a stop sign while trying to get footage of a tornado in Texas and collided with another vehicle in a crash that killed both the storm chasers and the other driver. The mother of the other driver has now brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the Weather Channel, claiming that the network knew that the two other men had a history of reckless driving.
Communication between a producer at the Weather Channel and an employee who had worked with the two storm chasers allegedly shows that the network knew about the two men's reported tendency to engage in reckless driving while chasing storms. If the documents cited in the lawsuit are accurate, the producer had expressed concern over the potential for an accident while filming, but the two storm chasers continued to work for the network. In the wake of the lawsuit, the Weather Channel has released an official statement that says the network does not comment on pending litigation.
The accident occurred 55 miles east of Lubbock, Texas, during a storm that produced rain in addition to the tornado. The other driver was heading away from the storm in his vehicle and had the right of way when driving through an intersection when the storm chasers allegedly ran a stop sign in their SUV, which then traveled 150 feet from the point of impact after catapulting over a fence.
Ironically, the driver of the other vehicle, a 25-year-old man, planned to pursue a career as a meteorologist and had an amateur interest in storm chasing himself. Family members of those who have died due to others' negligence have the right to pursue justice with the help of an attorney.