Aspiring Meteorologist From Denton Among 3 Killed After Storm Chasing in Oklahoma

Authorities say the three victims were traveling back from chasing a powerful tornado in Kansas when they were killed in a crash

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A Denton man is one of three University of Oklahoma meteorology students killed in a car crash on Interstate 35 in northern Oklahoma Friday night after chasing storms in Kansas, officials say.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said 20-year-old driver Nicholas K. Nair, of Denton, and two passengers, 19-year-old Gavin Short, of Grayslake, Illinois, and 22-year-old Drake Brooks, of Evansville, Indiana, were headed back after chasing a tornado in Kansas when their vehicle hydroplaned and was struck by a tractor-trailer near Tonkawa.

According to police reports, all three passengers were pinned in the vehicle for over five hours and were eventually extricated by the local Tonkawa Fire Department.

Nair, Short and Brooks were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the tractor-trailer was transported to a local hospital, treated and later released.

The University of Oklahoma's College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences released a statement Saturday memorializing the fallen students.

"We are deeply saddened and our sincerest condolences go out to all affected families and friends," the statement read in part. "Now, more than ever, we must come together in kindness and heartfelt support for one another. Please join us in offering thoughts and prayers for those most impacted and providing them with privacy."

The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

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