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Storm chaser killed in crash caused by downed power lines in Minnesota

Storm chaser killed in crash caused by downed power lines in Minnesota
Car that Martha Llano Rodriguez was in was hit by semi-truck on Interstate 90

A storm-chasing meteorologist was killed in a car crash involving downed power lines during severe weather in Minnesota, say officials.

Martha Llano Rodriguez of Mexico, Mexique, died after the vehicle she was in attempted to avoid the lines on Interstate 90 and was hit by a freight truckm according to police.

The Highway Patrol says that the 2021 Chevrolet car she was in was stopped in the road to avoid the downed electric lines when it was hit by the semi truck.

Three other people in the vehicle, including Chilean meteorologist Diego Campos, were injured in the incident.

“We were doing some storm chasing,” Campos told the Tribune des étoiles from his hospital bed.

”The storm was really bad, and we were trying to get out of there.”

He added that all of the four meteorologists in the car had got to know each other at industry conferences and courses.

Ms Llanos Rodriguez, 30, was in the region chasing storms, according to her Twitter account, and had been in Nebraska and Iowa before going Minnesota.

She also wrote weather articles about Mexico City for Meteored.

Police say that the truck was driven by a 26-year-old Canadian man, who received non life-threatening injuries in the crash.

The severe storms saw tens of thousands of businesses and homes lose power in southern Minnesota. Xcel Energy says that more than 200,000 customers lost power in Minnesota and Wisconsin on Wednesday night.

She became the fourth storm chaser killed in recent weeks, after three meteorology students from the University of Oklahoma died in crash on 29 April as they returned from a trip.