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arkansas tornado 224.88 .(Photo by: AP)
Mother suing Weather Channel for $125 million for sons death
After running the stop sign, their car smashed into another car driven by a storm spotter for the National Weather Service.
A mother is suing the Weather Channel for $125 million after two of its employees ran a stop sign while storm chasing and killed her son, USA Today reported.
The mother, Karen Di Piazza has filled a wrongful death suit against the channel. The lawsuit alleges that storm chasers Kelley Williamson and Randall Yarnall – who were contractors for the Weather Channel – drove through a stop sign while storm chasing near Spur, Texas.
The two Weather Channel employees were searching for any signs of an impending tornado.
After running the stop sign, their car smashed into another car driven by Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, a storm spotter for the National Weather Service. All three were killed immediately in the crash.
"The Weather Channel's on-air personalities Kelley Williamson and Randall Yarnall habitually ran stop signs, traffic lights and violated other basic traffic safety laws, in attempts to obtain video footage for their show,” according to a release from the law offices of Robert A. Ball, the San Diego-based attorney representing Jaeger's mother Karen Di Piazza, which was sent to USA Today. “The Chevrolet Suburban driven by Yarnall was live streaming for the Weather Channel when it ran into the path of the Jeep Patriot Jaeger was driving... The force of the collision caused the equipment-laden Suburban to catapult over a five-foot-tall fence 150 feet from the point of impact."
At the time of the accident, Jaeger who was a certified storm spotter for the National Weather Service, and had planned to return to college in Arizona to pursue a career as a meteorologist, was driving westward away from that tornado, when he was struck and killed.
The lawsuit also claimed that Williamson and Yarnall had a “well-documented history of dangerous behavior behind the wheel” that the channel ignored and even encouraged. Di Piazza claimed the in-studio reps not only monitored the storm chasers’ actions, they continued to instruct them during live streams to capture “particularly exciting footage.”
Jaeger’s family is seeking no less than $125 million in damages.
In a statement to Fox News, the Weather Channel said on Wednesday that it was unable to comment on the pending litigation.
'We are saddened by the loss of Corbin Jaeger, Kelley Williamson, and Randy Yarnall. They were beloved members of the weather community and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved. We cannot comment on pending litigation," the Weather Channel said.
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