CASSVILLE, Mo. – A community is mourning the loss of two Missouri storm chasers who were killed while chasing a tornado in Texas on Tuesday afternoon.
Kelley Williamson. 57 and Randy Yarnall, 55, called Cassville home. When they weren’t out chasing storms for The Weather Channel, they could often be found at the Cr’ose Café.
“Kelley was kind of a quiet guy but Randy was always giving our waitresses a hard time. He was a real cut up,” says Cr’ose Café Owner, Stu Crowe.
“There was never a dull moment, especially around Randy,” says Cassville resident, Janice Varner. “He was a nice guy, they both were.”
Williamson and Yarnall were chasing a tornado in Spur, Texas when they ran a stop sign and hit a Jeep, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Both men were killed in the crash, along with the driver of the Jeep, Corbin Jaeger, 25, of Arizona.
Kelley and Randy were beloved members of the weather community,” The Weather Channel said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“We are saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved,” it went on to say.
“It hit the community really hard. It’s going to be a big loss,” says Varner.
The loss will be felt outside of the community too – Williamson and Yarnall were also on a TV show called “Storm Wranglers.”
“They’d tell stories of… getting emails from Europe and Brazil and all over,” says Crowe. “They would be out on the road and people would chase them down if they knew a storm was around.”
Despite the added attention, those who knew the two men says they were always down to earth, a joy to be around and outstanding members of the community.
“It was such a tragedy, such a tragedy,” says Varner.
According to CNN, Williamson had been chasing storms for about five years.
Roughly two years ago Williamson’s extreme hobby landed him a spot with The Weather Channel and he asked Yarnall to join his team.