|Storm chasers Brandon Bridges (standing) and Vincent Webb after a scary interstate accident.|
Photo courtesy Vincent Webb.
Webb (@msstormchasing on Twitter) and Bridges (@bbridges18) were traveling in Webb's storm chase vehicle on I-40 with Jeremy Johnson (@memphisjdj) and Nick Hellums (@midsouthchasers) on their way back to the Memphis area and reached a stretch of I-40 that had experienced showers. They encountered a rollover accident on the opposite site of the interstate and pulled over to offer assistance. After crossing the interstate by foot, Bridges and Webb were helping the motorist in the rollover vehicle when another vehicle hydroplaned and careened towards the scene. Both Bridges and Webb tried to get out of the way, but were struck by the approaching vehicle and thrown several feet into the grass along the interstate. Johnson and Hellums were bystanders and not injured. Both Webb and Bridges were transported to the hospital for precautionary purposes with minor injuries. Their chase vehicle, owned by Webb, was on the opposite side of the interstate and not involved.
I spoke with Bridges by phone Sunday afternoon and he indicated that their injuries were minor and he hoped that they would be back in the Memphis area very late tonight.
Following the recent death of storm chaser Andy Gabrielson, we are again reminded that the storms themselves are only one threat chasers face as they attempt to provide a service to the community and the National Weather Service by providing reports of severe weather that aid in the protection of life and property. Frequently, as in this case, they are "first responders" on the scene after disaster strikes and are always ready to call off the chase to provide assistance wherever required. Please keep all of these chasers in your prayers.
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