OHP spokeswoman Sarah Stewart confirmed to CNN that the three students were returning from a storm chase in Kansas.
The Ministry of Public Health said the weather was raining and the roads were wet at the time of the students’ crash.
All three were students in the university’s School of Atmospheric Sciences and Geography.
Daniel Carter, a student at the University of Oklahoma who was a friend of the victims, told CNN that Brooks, Nair and Short were on an app showing their location. When Carter noticed they hadn’t moved from the same spot on a highway for more than half an hour Friday night, he said he hoped they were stuck in traffic.
But Carter and his friends started calling every hospital within 200 miles, he said. About six hours later, they find out that their friends are dead.
“We grieve,” Carter said. “These three men were lights of the world.”
A video posted on social media Friday from accounts by Nick Nair and Gavin Short showed an apparent tornado near Harrington, Kansas — about 70 miles northeast of Wichita.
Carter described Nair as very popular. He told CNN that many people call Nair “Mr. Oo” because “everywhere he goes he has to stop and talk to the people he knows.”
And although Carter said he didn’t know Brooks like the others, they did share several conversations about the weather and video games.
“These three young men are people I strive to be like every day,” Carter wrote in his homage.
A university spokesperson said the storm chase was not sponsored by the school.
“The university was devastated when I learned of the tragic death of three students,” a university statement said. “Everyone has been valued and loved in our community. At this time, we ask the public to respect their families’ privacy.”
The incident is under investigation, according to the Public Health Office.
CNN’s Sheriff Paget contributed to this report.