A funeral service is scheduled for Wednesday for the 19-year-old Grayslake man who was among three meteorology students killed in a crash in Oklahoma after storm chasing last month.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said that the victims in the incident were Nicholas K. Nair, 20, of Denton, Texas, Gavin A. Short, 19, of Grayslake, and Drake H. Brooks, 22, of Evansville, Indiana.
Nair was driving a 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan southbound on Interstate 35 near Tonkawa, Oklahoma, around 11:30 p.m. on April 29.
Short and Brooks were passengers in the vehicle, which became disabled and was blocking the outside lane of the interstate, the highway patrol said in a report.
A semi-truck traveling in the southbound lanes crashed into the stopped Volkswagen.
The three men were heavily entrapped in the car and it took hours to free them. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
The University of Oklahoma said in a statement that Nair, Short and Brooks were students at their university. “Each were valued and loved members of our community.”
The Oklahoman reported that the three students had been storm chasing a tornado near Herrington, Kansas, and were returning back to Oklahoma.
Short’s brother, Evan Short, 17, told the newspaper that Gavin “lived more in his 1.5 years at OU than in his first 18 years of life.”
“I can find solace in the idea that now he can live among the clouds which he loved so much,” Evan Short said.
According to an obituary published on Sunday, Short lived “so much in his 19 years” by traveling to 46 states and often planning family road trips himself.
“His true calling was the field of meteorology, also known as “sky math.” He had a passion for weather, often providing forecast reports to his family, friends, and classmates,” his obituary said.
Short attended Woodland School District 50 and graduated from Grayslake Central High School.
“He was an excellent student who had a special gift for mathematics. Gavin loved learning and shared his knowledge and abilities in many subjects with others. He participated in the Academic Team, Math Team, Symphonic Band, and was a member of the National Honor Society,” the obituary said.
Short, who was a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma, was majoring in meteorology and minoring in geographic information systems, mathematics, and Spanish.
He was doing undergraduate research on tropical cyclones with CIWRO within the National Weather Center, according to his obituary.
“Gavin has been described by his friends as kind, brilliant, ambitious, helpful, funny, and passionate. His bright smile, silly laugh, and kind soul touched thousands of people in his young life.”
A visitation is taking place from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Gurnee.
A funeral Service begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church.