TONKAWA, Okla. (AP) — Three University of Oklahoma meteorology students were killed in a crash Friday when their vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer combination in northern Oklahoma, according to a crash report. The students were on their way back from chasing a powerful tornado in Kansas, officials confirmed.
Nicholas Nair, 20, of Denton, Texas; Gavin Short, 19, of Grayslake, Illinois; and Drake Brooks, 22, of Evansville, Indiana, died in the crash shortly before 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to a report by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
The three were in a vehicle operated by Nair heading south on Interstate 35 when the vehicle collided with a seaplane in Tonkawa, about 85 miles (137 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City, the report said.
The vehicle left and then returned to the freeway where it was struck by a tractor-trailer combination heading south, according to the OHP.
A statement released by OU said: “The university is devastated to hear of the tragic death of three students. They were all valued and beloved members of our community.”
The driver of the semi was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released, the OHP said.
According to the report, it was raining at the time of the accident and the road was wet.