Spring has arrived, which means the start of severe weather season for much of the country. As you can imagine, the need to quickly escape a natural disaster comes with other hazards like the risk of getting into a car accident. In such cases, there would likely be no grounds for victims to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit – it seems clear that the severe weather was primarily to blame.
But that may not be the case if the driver who caused the crash was trying to chase the storm rather than escape it. And that is the basis of a high-profile lawsuit related to a fatal 2017 crash in Texas.
According to a recent news article, the two-vehicle collision occurred in March 2017 when one vehicle ran a stop sign at high speed and drove into the path of another vehicle who had the right of way. The two men who ran the stop sign worked for the Weather Channel and were chasing a tornado for their television show “Storm Wranglers.” They were struck by a 25-year-old employee for the National Weather Service who was driving away from the same tornado.
The mother of the NWS employee has filed a $125 million lawsuit against the Weather Channel, alleging that the Storm Wranglers:
- Routinely ran stop signs (including four in the hours before the crash)
- Were driving with a windshield seriously obstructed by video and computer equipment
- Were working on a show with an inherently dangerous and hazardous premise
- Were driving distracted while trying to live-stream and film the storm
- Had no emergency training and were completely unequipped to be storm chasers
In addition to the above allegations, the plaintiff’s attorney claims that the Weather Channel had previously been warned about the recklessness of these two employees by other storm chasers. The network was urged to take them “off the road before they killed themselves of someone else.”
Anyone can be forgiven for driving less than perfectly when fleeing a deadly storm. But there is simply no excuse to be driving recklessly toward a storm for entertainment purposes. As a result of the alleged reckless actions of the Weather Channel and two of its employees, a mother lost her son in a completely preventable car accident.
If you’ve lost a loved one to a negligent driver, you may want to discuss your rights and legal options with a caring personal injury attorney.