Three young “storm chasers” were killed in a horrific crash after trying to catch a massive tornado

Nicholas Nair, Gavin Short and Drake Brooks, all meteorology students at the University of Oklahoma, died when their car was hit by a truck hours after they sent friends a selfie from inside the vehicle

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Kansas: Tornado sweeps through the sky across the state

Three enthusiastic young “storm chasers” were killed after keeping up with a devastating tornado that swept through Kansas.

Nicholas Nair, 20, Gavin Short, 19, and Drake Brooks, 22, have been identified as the three people killed in a car accident in neighboring Oklahoma on Friday night.

The University of Oklahoma meteorology students had posted videos to Twitter earlier in the day showing the Twister cruising the freeway while driving, and even sent a selfie from their car to friends just hours before the accident.

They were among a larger group of students who had all traveled to Kansas to chase the storm, which ripped off roofs, downed trees and overturned cars on its path of destruction.

Drake Brooks (left), Nicholas Nair and Gavin Short took this selfie hours before they died

When the storm chasers returned to the Norman, Oklahoma campus, they noticed that the GPS location of Mr. Nair, Mr. Short and Mr. Brooks hadn’t moved in some time and called the Highway Patrol to report an accident .

Tragically, the trio’s car hydroplaned and blocked the outside lane, where a truck struck it and detained it for more than five hours before emergency services could extract the young men.

All three were pronounced dead at the scene, while the truck driver was taken to hospital and later released.

The dramatic storm was followed by torrential rain, a common dangerous scenario for tornado enthusiasts.

“Sometimes you might have thousands of storm chasers trying to follow a storm, so traffic just gets very congested and accidents happen,” says Lieutenant Phillip Ludwyck said the New York Times.

The tornado caused widespread destruction as it moved through Kansas

The University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology confirmed the deaths in a statement Saturday, saying, “We are deeply saddened and offer our sincere condolences to all families and friends affected.”

Fellow student Leigh O’Neil said The Oklahoman The three young men had sent their friends a selfie of themselves in the car a few hours before the fatal accident.

“You are already greatly missed,” she said. “Your loss is incredibly painful for all of us.”

The tornado in question caused widespread damage to residential areas in Kansas Friday night, with several cars crashing into the walls of the YMCA building in Andover.

One Twitter user wrote: “There is some storm damage in a neighborhood east of Harry and Andover Road.

“Trees uprooted, roofs gone, walls collapsed. Lots of first responders in the area. Neighbors check each other.”

Several other tornadoes also made landfall over Nebraska and Kansas as a major storm system swept east from the central Rocky Mountains into the Midwest.

“A tornado is down. GET DOWN NOW!” wrote the US National Weather Service (NWS) office in Topeka on its website.

A tornado weather warning remained in place in Kansas through 4 a.m.

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