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Local storm chasers remember those killed in crash while storm chasing in Texas

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Posted at 5:47 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 20:27:15-04

TULSA, Okla. -- The storm chasing community is rattled by the death of three of its members, and that loss is felt deeply here in Tulsa.

Storm chasing has almost taken on a life of its own. The community has swelled in the past decade.

But even then, Kelley Williamson, Randy Yarnell and Corbin Jaeger were among some of the true professionals.

Their loss has many questioning the future of the community.

“It's just kind of surreal...you just can't believe you're here one minute and gone the next...literally,” said 2 Works for You Storm Chaser Derek Masingale.

Tragedy in Texas...it's an enormous loss the storm chasing community is no stranger to.

Masingale remembers his friend Kelley Williamson well.

“He did save lives. Not only lives, but other chasers that would get stuck. I mean, Kelley would pull somebody out in a heartbeat and he was always there when people needed him,” he said.

Williamson, along with fellow chaser Randy Yarnell, were killed instantly when they ran a stop sign Tuesday and collided with another chaser – Corbin Jaeger from Arizona.

Jaeger also died at the scene.

“The community itself is tight-knit as everyone has seen. We've done that before..come together. And we will,” said Masingale.

But now many are wondering if there's too many chasers when storms bear down on the plains.

Masingale says it's crowded but not with professionals.

“Sunday for example, there was lines of cars that were not professional chasers. They were just people out because they heard there were storms,” he said.

It's there where the danger lies, he says.

He believes his longtime chasing friend Kelley leaves a legacy of staying smart...and saving lives.

“Kelley was a great chaser, he was one of the best. And will always remain that way,” said Masingale.

Masingale recommends amateur chasers ride along with a professional.

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