Peoria storm chaser dies chasing tornado in Texas

A Valley storm chaser died following a crash during Texas tornado.

PEORIA, Ariz. - A series of intense storms plowed through Texas, but the results were catastrophic and hit close to home here in the Valley.

"There is no parent who will ever be prepared to bury their child,” said Karen Di Piazza, the mother of Peoria-based storm chaser Corbin Jaeger, who died Tuesday.

He was storm chasing near Spur, Texas.

Texas Department of Public Safety investigators say a Chevy Suburban, with two people inside who were contracted employees of the Weather Channel, ran a stop sign and slammed into Jaeger's Jeep.

A Weather Channel spokesperson released a statement making mention of the two employees who died but not the Peoria-based storm chaser.

That rubbed Jaeger's mother the wrong way.

How fast they were going isn't clear, but the damage was extensive -- airbags deployed; both vehicles are complete losses.

But Di Piazza wants people to remember the loving, caring man involved, including “his humor [and] his compassion for people,” she said.

“I’m really grateful that I got to share him and be part of his life,” she said through tears.

Well before Jaeger started storm chasing, he had a passion for the outdoors. His mom said he loved to see soft wind through the trees as much as a huge storm -- and everything in between.

He's been to Texas, Kansas and Colorado -- even here in Arizona, witnessing all types of weather displays.

His storm chasing friend Trey Greenwood told 12 News Jaeger "was always an incredible person, friend, and [storm] chaser through them all ... I am going to miss him very deeply."

You can help the family cover funeral and other expenses by donating to the Memorial Fund for Corbin Jaeger.

Below is the full statement from The Weather Channel:

This afternoon we learned that three people died in a car accident in Texas, including two contractors for the Weather Channel, Kelley Williamson and Randy Yarnall. Kelley and Randy were beloved members of the weather community. We are saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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