Skip to comments.Storm Chasers' Matt Hughes Committed Suicide
Posted on 11/06/2010 5:54:37 PM PDT by prisoner6
Although Matt Hughes, a spotter on the Discovery series Storm Chasers, died on May 26th, many fans only found out this week when told he suffered "a fatal injury at home." Today, we've learned it was from a suicide attempt.
The death of storm-chaser Matt Hughes was today at the center of intense speculation. Mmany fans only found out the 30-year-old presenter had passed away at the end of Wednesday's episode of the Discovery series in which he starred.
Hughes, who has a wife Kenda and two sons Collin and Hunter, actually died on May 26.
He was not killed in the course of chasing storms an obsession he pursued for 15 years but after suffering a fatal injury at his home.
There were today reports that Hughes's death was due to complications from a failed attempt to kill himself.
Aaron Blaser, a meterologist who had worked with Hughes for many years, claimed he had tried to kill himself on May 14.
In a post titled 'RIP Matt', Blaser described on his blog how he was taken to hospital and spent several days in intensive care:
"One of our KAKEland StormChasers, Matt Hughes, was taken to the hospital after trying to take his life. This sentence is still hard to explain and even more difficult to express on a computer screen. Matt was in the hospital for several days in intensive care, there was a 24 hour vigil outside the waiting room, family, other chasers, business associates, etc."
The presenter began working on the hit show as a spotter for veteran Sean Casey.
He pioneered tracking storms in the 'Doghouse' vehicle and Casey was then able to intercept them in his purpose-built TIV-3 shown above. We met Casey and his TIV-2 at SEMA two years ago. Read more about that here.
Depression of any kind is hell but especially depression that is clinical. It's hard to treat too.
OKC, several of my friends were chasing a tornado.
They got the warning out and saved hundreds.
They had to hunker down under an overpass as the tornado came over them.
Everyone was holding to each other in a chain.
A young couple was at the entrance of the overpass and the tornado tried to suck them out. a rock went through the hand of the husband and the Woman was gone.
It was terrifying.
They found her in a field about a mi away.
Still, hundreds were saved.
Do you think they know? Maybe lemmings do despair over their lot in life and communally end it all...maybe not.
If, on the other hand it's the result of something as simple as fleeing predators like sharks or orcas, then it appears to be a deliberate course of action, a "lesser of two evils" or "easier way out" and in that regard, would exhibit a fairly direct parallel to human suicide...The ultimate extreme of "flight" in a fight or flight response.
I hesitate to compare the two behaviors that directly until we know if cetaceans even have the cognitive ability to make such a deliberate choice (ironically, it may be their survival instinct that drives them to engage in self-destructive behavior), and until we can rule out other causes for beaching.
I really must defend him in some way.
Several years ago, my husband’s cousin committed suicide by walking in front of a train. The shock to family and friends was profound as he was in the prime of his life and seemingly a very successful and happy man.
After his death, family began discovering that he was having difficulty sleeping and had seen a doctor for a prescription of Ambien.
The drug is safe if taken correctly though there are side effects, one of which is thoughts of suicide. It clearly says that if this occurs, one should tell their doctor and cease taking it immediately.
It is possible that this young man could have been the victim of something like this. Please don’t be so quick to judge.
May God have mercy on his soul, and may his family have the love and support they need to get through this.
A very permanent solution to a temporary problem.
I understand what you are saying, but I wouldn't consider anybody from a Discovery Channel show to be "famous", except for maybe the 24/7 angry dad with the bad mustache from the motorcycle show (Paul, or what ever his name is. See how famous he is.)
A lot of the best jobs exist due to the misery and sometimes death of others. It doesn't make them dishonorable.
Lisa on "Ice Road Truckers" is famous in my book.
I live in the OKC area and say Thank God for storm chasers!
We all walk that lonesome valley. For some of us, perhaps a lot, it is a very long, hard journey.
A decade or so ago a very good friend of mine killed himself. He kept a running log as he died. His first attempt - drugs - failed and he turned to a shotgun.
All the warning signs were there. He gave things away. Told us that if he hadn't made it BIG by the time he was 40 it would be best to end it and start over again.
He was at my house as well as with a few other friends a couple of days before and talked about how the best way to commit suicide was to do it in the way that would most impact those left behind.
We talked about it but chalked it up to his "personality" and blunt ways.
All his friends knew he had problems with the ladies (not really, he just saw it that way), health and maybe finances. However he was a strong fellow...someone we all looked up to. We all kept in touch with him daily...involved him in everything we did, but he apparently still felt alone.
From what we gather he got a poor prognosis from a doctor.
It was a community picnic day but he didn't want to go...claimed he wanted to plan for our annual Summer get together at his rural house.
When my wife, kids and I got home around 11pm there was a letter with sealing wax - one of his trademarks. The letter was obscure and dark. The phone message machine was jammed. We all knew there had been a problem.
I was the closest so I went. The police were there. I was the first friend/relative in. It was not pleasant.
He had a bottle of scotch on the table with glasses and notes. There was a plastic sheet in the living room. What was left of him was upstairs in the bathtub.
I am not going to be graphic. It was NOT pleasant.
Some of us still can't come to grips with it.
It could have been mental or physical health or something else.
We aren't judging him, but what he did was wrong, especially in such a way that so many of his friends were left scared.
Most of all it was a wrong against The Creator.
He had a death wish, they all do.
At least the ones who aren’t adrenalin junkies have.
“Also, have a little compassion and dont sound so belittling. There is help for people who have struggles and the belittling from others is what causes the stigmatization that prevents those who need help from getting it.”
I had no intention in my post of belittling anyone. I honestly do not understand what would drive someone to actually kill themselves particularly those who have families and young children. Did this television personality feel stigmatized and not seek help? I guess it may be something beyond psychological help; perhaps something induced chemically within the body’s systems.
I’m so sorry that you had that experience. It really is devastating to the surviving family and friends when someone chooses to take their own life.
As your story illustrates, we can never ever know what is truly in the hearts and minds of someone else. That doesn’t make it easier and the pain of such a loss is so profound.
I too believe that suicide is a wrong. Anger, guilt and recriminations are natural responses to it.
I was just saddened by the posts I was seeing and wanted to explain that sometimes there is more to it than meets the eye.
It may be a spur of the moment thing. Most of us at one time or another, for one reason or anther, have felt so overwhelmed, so helpless, so abandoned and alone even in a crowd that going on seems impossible.
And then...there is Faith.
I still agree with you. ;)
I haven’t seen a lot of the show, but he seemed to have some anger and jealousy issues.
Yes, we can thank Disney for that little lie.
Storm chasers have to live with the thought that their biggest thrill comes at someone elses expense. They celebrate someones complete destruction.
These Storm Chasers just plain get on my nerves! I cannot watch these shows. They always act like spastic children.
We know...you guys are a adrenalin junkies...we get it already.
With all of the high tech equipment is this stuff absolutely necessary? Maybe it is
Our minds are incredibly powerful. My theory is that most suicides are usually not an impulsive action, but a culmination of thoughts that snowball out of control.
Leaving a wife and two children..Wow!
Sorry if this sounds cold, but if you have a family depending on you, you buck up and stay strong for them. If you need to, get help.
Any of you folks who want to make excuses for this guy...be sure to also sit down and tell his wife and kids how they need to understand what he did. They’re the real victims here!
Yea, suicide is not something one can take back, is it?
Alas, my husband’s cousin had no faith and therefore no one to whom he could turn for strength and guidance.
Condemn and pray you’ll never feel the pain yourself.
In an essay I read recently, the author, a Catholic, imagined a man on the cross, and Christ on his knees in front of it begging forgiveness. (Save your outrage at this blasphemy for a better occasion.)
I came home nine years ago and found that my wife had taken her life. It was not pleasant. I still hurt profoundly. She had become bipolar, she was taking diet pills, ambien, hydrocodone, imitrex, and several medications for depression and anxiety. She was sick because no loving person in their right mind would leave their three year old daughter and husband alone for the rest of their living lives. I am not angry at her, I am not angry at anyone for what happened. I just know we miss her deeply. I don’t think that God would consider her action a sin, she was sick and therefore not culpable. Mental illness is a disease. The suicide rate for bipolar individuals is upwards near 95% successful.
Its always sad to hear of a suicide...many are the result of untreated depression...
My great uncle took his life nearly thirty years ago. He was convinced he had cancer because of pain and various issues, and no one could tell him otherwise. As someone who has FMS, I wonder if it wasn’t something along those lines - the pain can be rather unbearable and all over the body.
He went shopping with Grandma one day, and said he needed to stop by his house for something. He told her to pick him back up at a certain time, but took his life with a shotgun in the meantime.
He knew she would be the one to find him, and she was a very emotional person. I’ll never understand why he did that to her. It was an extremely cruel thing to do. As hard as a drug overdose would be to find, leaving that image in someone’s mind is hard for me to fathom, especially with the inability to think there’s a chance of revival or even to hold them.
Mom, Dad, my aunt and uncle did the cleanup. I can’t imagine having to do such a thing. It is just cruel all-around.
I guess I should get back to your original point...it had to have been a mental illness left unchecked; he couldn’t have done something like that otherwise. He loved his sister too much for that.
Yes it’s tragic what he has left behind for those that need to pick up the pieces and move on, but know one on this thread can speculate the seriousness of the depth of his depression and I speak from experience on many, many levels.
On the other hand the last episode he filmed was very moving, he finally got to be inside a tornado, perhaps in his mind he had accomplished all that he had ever hoped for. He hung himself just two days later, which no one I know could see it coming. RIP my friend!
you’d think there would be a few survivors that would say...”next time, screw that”
How was Matt a poser?
The tornado is causing the destruction. You cannot separate the two.
How can someone die from a “suicide attempt”?
Sounds to me like it all worked out.
I did not say he was.
I said he may have been
Pure speculation on my part.
I have never even seen the fellow outside of the publicity photo.
Like I said, do some simple research. Almost every question can be answered on the web. And I am sure you might get some help from us Freepers if you ask nicely.
Its like living with bigotry but worse. The main problem is that we can’t see it, so we don’t know that there are billions of people with the same problems all around the world, and we can’t join together with someone who understands because we have to confess it first.
Besides the psychological and physical responses of our mind to stress, there are chemical imbalances, and what is not discussed much because we are an advanced scientific culture, we can also come under spiritual attack. All three fronts should be addressed. It can be daunting.
It is tragic.
I did not mean to disparage the man.
I was only wondering aloud as to what kind of torment may have lead him to suicide.
Then, using your logic, firemen must enjoy other people's misfortune too.
That very elaborate and inventive storm-chasing vehicle, combined with a very specific, narrow fascination, albeit an apparently profitable one, leads me to wonder about manic-depressive disorder. The vehicle and the storm chasing were his mania. The suicide was the final manifestation of his depression.
Chemical imbalance, insufficient treatment of a disorder that he likely inherited.
Such a pity, for the larger world due to the loss of such specialized brilliance, but especially for his wife and children. What could possibly ever seem so bad as to do this to them, let alone himself? I’ve had bouts of depression myself, and for the life of me, can’t ever envision taking my own life.
I’d pray for his soul if I believed that would do any good, but I don’t. So, I’ll pray for comfort for those he left behind. God bless them, they’ll need it.
If they love seeing a fire and chase them, they have to accept they are reveling in the misery of others.
It may be God’s mercy that his suicide “failed”, because it might mean he had time to repent before he died.
Often people change their minds after they attempt suicide, which is often impulsive, and often due to drugs or alcohol.
And often a “failed” attempt is not trying to die, but a call for help.
As for “why”, one never can know. Depression is a terrible thing.
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall / Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap / May who ne’er hung there.
Gerard Manley Hopkins quotes (British Jesuit Priest and Poet, 1844-1889)
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