SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA - The death toll from last week's storms near Oklahoma City is now 18. Among them a Lake Tahoe educator and veteran storm chaser who died chasing the science of extreme weather.
Carl Young received his master's degree at UNR and was a graduate assistant at the Desert Research Institute, but his academic roots ran deepest here at Lake Tahoe Community College.
Young was a student here, his undergraduate work later earning him a Distinguished Alumnus recognition and, after graduate work it was here he returned to teach.
"He was passionate about his teaching and he was passionate about his work," says Dr. Tom Greene, the school's Vice President for Academic Affairs. "One thing I'll always remember about Carl. He brought all that experience, his passion into the classroom."
"He really cared about students," says senior Reid Trippe. "He was one of those people that was a really positive influence on the world and those are the people you want to stay here."
But his passion for science extended beyond the classroom and took him far from the Sierra to the nation's plains where he joined an elite group of scientists who chase violent weather others flee from.
He was following his passion where few dared tread, but not as a thrill seeker.
"This wasn't some crazy guy chasing storms," says math professor Larry Green. "He knew what he was doing.
Green says he talked with Young about his dangerous work.
"He said it was worth the risk. He knew he could help others."
Friday, that pursuit put Young and two other storm chasers in the path of a twister with winds of up to 165 miles an hour near El Reno, Oklahoma, snatching their truck, mangling it, killing them.
"There's some solace in knowing he went out doing what he loved," says fellow instructor Bruce Armbrust, "And he went out helping humanity."