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Family of Storm Chaser Killed in Crash Sues TWC for $125M

Corbin Lee Jaeger's mom says 2 Weather Channel contractors were 'habitually reckless and dangerous'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2019 8:27 AM CDT
This March 2017 photo shows storm chaser Kelley Williamson.   (KSPR via AP)
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(Newser) – Nearly two years to the day after three storm-chasers were killed in a Texas crash, the mother of one of the men has filed a $125 million lawsuit against The Weather Channel, per USA Today. The complaint filed by Karen Di Piazza, mother of the National Weather Service's Corbin Lee Jaeger, says the 25-year-old's Jeep Patriot was hit on March 28, 2017, by the Chevy Suburban of Kelley Williamson and Randall Yarnall, contractors who were collecting footage for the network's Storm Wranglers show. The suit claims that Yarnall ran through a stop sign at around 70mph while chasing a tornado near the city of Spur, while Jaeger was driving away from the storm. Williamson and Yarnall, said to be in their mid-50s by KCBD, "habitually ran stop signs, traffic lights and violated other basic traffic safety laws, in attempts to obtain video footage for their show," a release from Di Piazza's attorney says.

The suit, which calls the two "habitually reckless and dangerous," contends the duo's failure to stop at the stop sign was their fourth violation of that day and that out of a sample of 14 videos showing them chasing storms on Williamson's YouTube channel, the pair blew through about 80 stop signs and four red lights. The complaint also claims the pair's vehicle was so crammed with equipment that they couldn't see clearly out of it, and that TWC not only knew about their dangerous driving, but "encouraged the pair's recklessness and set the stage for this tragedy." A statement released by TWC Tuesday noted it was "saddened" by the deaths of the three men, but added, "We cannot comment on pending litigation," per KTUL. (A popular Discovery storm chaser died last year at the age of 38.)

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