Storm chaser Matt Hughes: How did he die?

The untimely death of 30-year-old Matt Hughes has shocked the storm chasing community. Although he died five months ago in Kansas, news of his death has only recently been made public.

Hughes, a TV metereologist and regular contributor to the US radio show The Storm Report, joined the team in 2009 just as the tornado season was taking off. He operated the TIV Doghouse and it wasn’t long before Sean turned more and more to the Doghouse team for help with chase strategy. When Sean’s navigator caved in a few weeks into the 2010 season, Matt showed that he had what it took to guide the TIV to tornadoes and soon he was setting the courses for all the TIV chases. His final chase was in May 2010.
[adsense]
The Discovery Channel, which airs the TV series Storm Chasers, has dedicated the upcoming November 10 episode, titled Dedication, to his “incredible last chase” and to his “memory”.  It shows the team struggling to come to terms with their friend’s death, which is said to be “unrelated to his storm-chasing activities”.

Although the cause of his death has not been confirmed, there are speculations that Matt suffered from severe depression and that he committed suicide. As of yet, however, there is no evidence to substantiate these rumors.

“Born and raised in Wichita Kansas, the heart of Tornado Alley,” said Matt on the Discovery Channel, ” it didn’t take long for weather to peek my interest.” His first tornado experience was as a child, witnessing the historic F5 tornado ripping through the Wichita area in 1991. From that moment on, he knew chasing storms would be a part of his life.

Matt Hughes leaves behind a wife and sons. A memorial fund in his name has been set up for his sons in c/o Intrust Bank.

You can share your condolences online at www.CozineMemorial.com.

Read about surfing champ Andy Irons, who passed away aged 32.

Images: Facebook and Discovery Channel.