Fans of The Discovery Channel’s hit show Storm Chasers were shocked this past May when one of the star meteorologist’s abruptly passed away. Now this Wednesday, the shock went into overdrive as the cable channel and other parties involved in the case released the cause.
Matt Hughes passed away on May 26 in Wichita, Kans., “due to an injury unrelated to his chasing activities,” the cable channel said in a statement. He was 30.
Discovery made a surprise announcement of Hughes’ death at the end of a Nov. 3rd episode titled “Dedication.” The network stated: Matt Hughes passed away on May 26 in Wichita, Kans., “due to an injury unrelated to his chasing activities,” the cable channel said in a statement. He was 30. The episode featured Hughes’ final chase and was dedicated to his memory.
According to local authorities, Hughes committed suicide months ago, but this past Wednesday is the first time any real confirmation has arrived on the matter. “The cause of death was hanging,” Amanda Matthews, spokeswoman for Cedgwick County Forensic Science Center confirmed. “[First Responders] did an external exam and the individual was resuscitated. I don’t have info of length of stay in hospital but autopsy date was May 27,” she adds.
“I spent quite a bit of time bouncing from work to the hospital and back again…hoping for the best, comforting others, but several days later, after serious complications arose, I knew we were going to lose him. What a lot of us didn’t know was that he suffered from depression,” colleague and pal Aaron Blaser blogged openly recently.
During his final appearance on the show, Hughes took the reins on what would be his “best tornado intercept ever,” said team leader Sean Casey.
Discovery has set up a memorial fund to benefit the family.