Three storm-chasers have died in a car crash while following a tornado in western Texas.

The accident happened on Wednesday (29 March), when a driver went through a stop sign at a rural crossroads and crashed into an oncoming vehicle.

Kelley Williamson, 57, Randy Yarnall, 55, and Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, all died instantly, according to police.

Officials say a tornado warning was in effect at the time of the crash, but it's unclear what role the weather played.

Heavy rain was reported at the time of the crash and officials are investigating.

Nearby, in Oklahoma, a truck driver was killed when high winds pushed his trailer off on a motorway.

Forecasters have confirmed wind gusts of up to 95mph near Oklahoma City, where the crash occurred. The storms brought tennis ball-sized hail and powerful winds, but there were no reports of widespread damage in either state.

Storm Chaser Mike Olbinski
(File picture) Several storms have hit the region in recent weeks and months Mike Olbinski

The storms are expected to move eastward on Thursday, threatening millions of people in Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Texas and Louisiana.

Williamson and Yarnall had been contractors for the Weather Channel TV network, and were featured on the show Storm Wranglers which aired in October.

"Kelley and Randy were beloved members of the weather community," the company said in a statement. "We are saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved."

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt John Gonzalez said the accident occurred around 3.30pm local time near the town of Spur when an SUV driven by Williamson slammed into a Jeep driven by Jaegar.