Greg Johnson, a weather journalist from Saskatchewan specializing in tornado chasing, felt the brute force of a twister west of Oklahoma City Friday as his vehicle was jostled and hit by flying debris.


Tornado Hunter Greg Johnson was dangerously close to a violent twister that hit the Okalahoma City area Friday. Skype/CBC (Skype/CBC)

Johnson and his crew were recording video of a tornado that touched down in a field near a highway when it became apparent they were dangerously close to a violent storm.

"Go Ricky, go Ricky," Johnson calls out to their driver as the video shows intense shaking and rattling of their vehicle.

Johnson said the group was lucky their truck had a protective cover.

"It was crazy but we put ourselves in a position that we definitely shouldn't have been in," Johnson said later in an interview with CBC News. "We thought we had the escape route planned." 

Johnson said their vehicle was stuck behind another slow-moving driver.

"Unfortunately we got caught by a very violent tornado," he said. "We had a truck fly across the road in front of us."

He said their vehicle was hit by all sorts of debris from a farm yard, including a bale of hay.

"We sustained quite a bit of damage," he said, but everyone in their group was OK. "We're safe. Our vehicle is equipped to withstand those sorts of thing."

Johnson said they were hoping to continue storm chasing on the weekend, but their truck may not be in good enough shape for that.