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Oklahoma storms: Amateur storm chaser took photo of tornado that killed him

Richard Charles Henderson took a cellphone photo of the first tornado Friday and excitedly sent it to a friend. Minutes later, that tornado would kill him.
by Nolan Clay Modified: June 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm •  Published: June 3, 2013

Seven of the victims remained unidentified Monday afternoon.

The dead included three veteran storm chasers — Tim Samaras, his son, Paul, and colleague Carl Young.

In an interview for the National Geographic Society last month, Tim Samaras said, “On a big tornado day in Oklahoma, you can have hundreds of storm chasers lined up down the road. Oklahoma is considered the Mecca of storm chasing. We know ahead of time when we chase in Oklahoma, there's going to be a traffic jam.”

Henderson was one of those who enjoyed watching storms.

“He didn't do it real often, but he did like to do it,” his mother, Dianna Henderson, said Monday.

Richard Henderson, 35, was a rancher and truck driver. His birthday would have been Thursday.

He was remembered Monday as a devoted father of two boys, 7 and 10. Services are Wednesday in Hinton.

His parents said he was thrown from the pickup.

“They said the inside of his pickup was just as clean as if it came off the showroom. They said everything was out of it … so it must have sucked him and everything else out of it,” his mother said.

“He never thought about anything like this happening.”


Staff Writer Andrew Knittle has disabled the comments for this article.
by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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