As more and more chasers head out to the plains each spring to "feast on the smorgasbord of atmospheric violence," the roadways get more crowded and hazardous near storms. This is a well-known trend, discussed in several other forums. Yes, there are irresponsible bozos out there who have no business chasing, and who don't represent some TV station. However, we want to spotlight a particularly dangerous trend of behavior we see among those in the broadcast media who cover severe storms for their newscasts.
A brief news clip hidden in the 17 May 1991 edition of the Wichita Eagle documented a wreck the day before by a two-man KSNW-3 crew out of Wichita. They were driving down a slick gravel road and lost control while trying to catch up with a tornadic, softball size hail-producing supercell. Luckily for them, only the reporter had minor injuries, and the accident was soon forgotten by most.
We and other storm chasers have witnessed hazardous and blatantly illegal actions by TV crews attempting to chase severe thunderstorms; and we know of several other such incidents.
On 5 May 1993 in southwest Kansas, someone representing an Oklahoma City TV station was observed by several chasers to be driving nearly 100 mph, and crossing private fields. Already on edge by the violent tornadoes moving across their jurisdictions, that incident prompted local police to arrest (but later release without charge) well-respected, responsible storm chaser Jon Davies, who had no part in the reckless idiocy out there.
In the Spring 1995 issue of The Weather Bulletin, William Reid describes a near head-on collision caused by a swerving, speeding TV chase crew in southwest Oklahoma, and witnessed by Dean Cosgrove.
In April of 1995, Dave Ewoldt encountered a chaser for Channel 4 in Oklahoma City (the same...