New Mexico fans of the Weather Channel show “Storm Wranglers” may be aware that its hosts, Kelley Williamson and Randy Yarnall, died while chasing down a storm in Texas. On March 28, 2017, while the two were following a tornado, their live stream suddenly came to an end. The two had run a stop sign and smashed into a car driven by a 25-year-old employee of the National Weather Service. All three were killed.
The man’s mother has filed a $125 million lawsuit against the estates of both men, the Weather Channel and others. According to the lawsuit, the men had a history of reckless driving, and officials at the Weather Channel were aware of this. A storm chaser had informed a producer at the Weather Channel via text that the two were driving recklessly and that the chaser was concerned about their safety and the safety of others.
The storm chaser contacted the producer again after the fatal accident and said there had been an effort to warn the men about the reckless driving. The Weather Channel says it cannot comments on litigation that is ongoing.
A driver or the estate of a driver who is responsible for an accident that kills others may be named in a wrongful death lawsuit. If the driver was on the job at the time of the accident, as in this case, the employer might also be held responsible. Family members who have lost a loved one in a fatal motor vehicle accident might want to discuss their options with an attorney. Lawsuits can only be filed on behalf of certain family members, and damages are generally limited to those that are allowed by the applicable state statute.
Source: NPR, “The Weather Channel Sued For $125 Million Over Death In Storm Chase Collision“, Dalia Mortada, March 27, 2019