Guy gets way too close to Illinois Tornado

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Oct 6, 2010
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Centennial CO.
Isn't there a way to message him still?
I just sent him a message via YouTube/Google+ letting him know and asking him if he wants it. I also mentioned the "overpasses = not a good idea" thing and sent him a link to the Brooks/Doswell/Rasmussen presentation hosted on the NWS Norman page regarding the problems of overpasses as tornado shelters (http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=safety-overpass - if anyone new hasn't seen it). Hopefully I'm not the latest in a line of people to do that.
 
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Reactions: Kevin Rimcoski
Jan 18, 2015
232
60
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Tucson, AZ
I don't want him to feel discouraged from chasing, but I'd like him to understand he did everything wrong that you could do wrong in a 2 minute time frame. He did have more than enough time to go either south or north for sure. Sounds like he put a kid and maybe wife in danger. ..the guy was just extremely lucky...that can't be said enough

Again, not to bash him or anything or make him feel guilty for wanting to chase or whatever his reasoning was, but to get him to understand some safety lessons. I don't think he really knew how powerful it really was.

It would just suck to become another statistic, especially if you put yourself there and didn't know what you're doing
 
Oct 26, 2007
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Topeka, Kansas
It sounds like a few are guessing that he had someone in the vehicle with him, such as family?? The brief sounds I heard I figured were coming from the radio. If he was not alone, this was worse than I first thought. Putting yourself in great danger is foolish, but others as well is...well....despicable. I would think children would be screaming and crying. Hopefully, he was alone.
 
Jun 14, 2009
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Brooklyn, NY
I don't want him to feel discouraged from chasing,
The Youtube description says he is not a chaser. " My boss and friend Sam Smith took the video and sent it to me soon after. Sam is not a storm chaser and was on his way to Indianapolis. He was visiting from North Carolina on business and had never had any experience with this type of weather. "

I still think he should have turned around, but it sounds like he was unable to make a decision...

John
 
May 16, 2011
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Seattle , Wa
I think he was just an average guy too(not a chaser), that didn't know what he was doing and also apparently didn't realize the gravity of the situation. Some of the things he said just gave me the opinion he really didn't know what a tornado could do to him and his vehicle. Heck he didn't even know if he should at least duck down. Very lucky guy indeed!
He was literally about 50' or less from the much stronger circulating winds, I doubt he had any idea how close he came to being dragged and rolled across the countryside.

Great video though...
 
Jul 2, 2004
1,781
100
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Hastings, Michigan
www.stormhorn.com
The guy was clueless, and I'm glad--and amazed--that he got out of that encounter utterly unscatheed. I'm captivated by the video--who wouldn't be? And I hope no one else gets the idea that they can survive playing that kind of Russian roulette.
 
Jan 18, 2015
232
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Tucson, AZ
Again very good video, but the risk isn't worth it. You can see some inflow condensed it looks like just off to his left as the tornado made the right turn. Had he been any closer I'm sure that truck would have rolled

It's hard to tell exactly but it does sound like there was at least one other person in the vehicle. I heard a woman
 
Apr 5, 2015
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Norman, OK
I don't want him to feel discouraged from chasing, but I'd like him to understand he did everything wrong that you could do wrong in a 2 minute time frame. He did have more than enough time to go either south or north for sure. Sounds like he put a kid and maybe wife in danger. ..the guy was just extremely lucky...that can't be said enough

Again, not to bash him or anything or make him feel guilty for wanting to chase or whatever his reasoning was, but to get him to understand some safety lessons. I don't think he really knew how powerful it really was.

It would just suck to become another statistic, especially if you put yourself there and didn't know what you're doing
He is not a chaser.
 
Jan 18, 2015
232
60
11
Tucson, AZ
He is not a chaser.
I know

What I didn't know is if he wanted to go and if it was his first time. If that's the case, I would feel bad for bashing on him, especially it being his first time. If he really wanted to be there and see a tornado, he's a weather enthusiast, etc and he's made out to look like a loser through spread of the Internet, he would probably be pretty embarrassed and feel like a dream was crushed

We don't know his side, other than he's from out of state. We don't have the whole story
 
Jul 16, 2013
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Joplin, MO
I know

What I didn't know is if he wanted to go and if it was his first time. If that's the case, I would feel bad for bashing on him, especially it being his first time. If he really wanted to be there and see a tornado, he's a weather enthusiast, etc and he's made out to look like a loser through spread of the Internet, he would probably be pretty embarrassed and feel like a dream was crushed

We don't know his side, other than he's from out of state. We don't have the whole story
We do know, and it was pointed out a few posts back as it was in the Youtube description. It states he isn't a chaser and was passing through on business with no experiences in dealing with that type of weather.
 
Jun 14, 2009
328
155
11
Altoona, Iowa
toddrector.com
There is nothing I can add to this conversation other than saying "dumb luck". Emphasis on "dumb". Somewhere prior to the time his mirrors were blown backwards, he might have considered backing up as fast as humanly possible.
 
Mar 22, 2015
13
2
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Sycamore, IL
I see there is a lot of posts about this, and I don't know if anyone brought this up, but after asking around a bit, I was told this was just some guy from North Carolina. I can totally see the scenario of him driving out of the blinding rain and hail on 39 heading south and come across this. then, like a deer in head lights, he can't react. He has nothing to draw on for what to do. He is a very blessed man. There is one more video out there where the people on I39 were in the circulation. not much to see, but the people in the car were freaking out.
 
So many are quick to judge that he should have somehow bailed to the north. Of course we all have the advantage of seeing the outcome of the video post occurrence; the tornado passing ever so slightly to his south. With that monster bearing down rapidly on a person, the determination of exactly which direction to bail would be difficult, even for experienced chasers. Now knowing he was inexperienced, I don't see how he could have been assured that going north was a route to safety.
 
I think one reason he is (thankfully) OK is because he is on the 'north' side of the tornado. The tornado was moving pretty quickly, and so the relative wind velocity on this side of its circulation was quite a bit lower than on the south side. We've seen the footage from the south side of the semi being overturned well outside of the 'main' tornado. Inflow jets/RFD/whatever would have been stronger on this side.