Matt Hughes: Storm Chaser on a Suicide Mission?

Julie Ryan Evans

Matt HughesHow did Matt Hughes die?

That's the question fans of the Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers were hoping to get answers to on a special episode that aired last night titled "Dedication."

Unfortunately, it just raised more questions about the 30-year-old's death, which occurred in May.

We know he didn't die from the obvious -- chasing storms, which he did fearlessly in his native Kansas for 15 years before joining the show in 2009. Instead the show said he died as the result of a "fatal injury" at his home.

Does that mean suicide?

Perhaps, as friends and family have reported that Hughes suffered from depression. Rumors say he even checked into a hospital days before the incident for depression.

"What a lot of us didn't know was that he suffered from depression," wrote Aaron Blaser, meteorologist and friend of Hughes.

"While the professional side of Matt was going fine, his personal life was nothing but," Blaser continued. "I won't go into specifics here, but there was never any illegal activity, but an accumulation of issues at home were mounting, and he kept it to himself until the end."

So the question becomes, if it was suicide, could it have been prevented? And were we all sitting there watching some of the signs right there on our television screens.

One of the warning signs of suicide, according to WebMD, is: "Having a 'death wish,' tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death." 

Storm chasing certainly would fall into that category. While that in no way means everyone who chooses such a profession is suicidal, one has to wonder if for Matt, it was a sign.

While speculation about his death won't change his ultimate fate, perhaps his story will prevent another similar tragedy.

"If only he would've seen all the people who care for him ... could things have ended differently?" Blaser asked noting that more than 500 people attended the funeral.

Hughes is survived by his wife, Kendra, and two boys, Hunter and Collin. Condolences to them and the rest of the family.

Images via YouTube

Read More