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'Storm Chasers' Star Committed Suicide

11/4/2010 2:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"Storm Chasers" just revealed one of its stars, Matt Hughes, died earlier this year -- and TMZ has learned his death was a suicide -- the result of a hanging.

Matt Hughes Storm Chaser death
At the end of last night's episode of the Discovery reality show viewers were told Hughes died in May due to complications from a fatal injury at his home in Kansas.

TMZ confirmed with Valley Center PD ... on May 14 they responded to a suicide call at Hughes' home.  According to the police report, officers concluded Matt, who was still breathing, was drinking before the suicide attempt.

We're told Matt was taken to a local hospital -- but passed away 13 days later.  The Medical Examiner's report lists "Hanging" as the cause of death.

110510_storm_chasers_tmz_tv2Last night's episode was dedicated to Matt -- and we're told Discovery has set up a memorial fund for Matt's wife and two sons. 


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It's just as selfish as having children when you're in a war zone.

1419 days ago


I am shocked by the news of his death as well. He looked so happy in that episode. Guess there were other things going under the surface. I have been in that state of depression and found help. He had what looks like a great career and a family, what else could you ask for?

1419 days ago


I agree with you Andrea, this should of never been out in the public eye. What kind of police department gives that information out to anyone? I feel for his wife and kids, they can now never be sheltered from the fact that their father ended his own life. Sad.

As for everyone talking bad about his as well...your a bunch of insensitive *******s. Keep your ****ty comments to yourself.

1419 days ago


He probably had life insurance and was driven to take care of his family in the most desperate way possible. These days who isn't worth more dead than alive?

1419 days ago


Why do all of you think suicide is always caused by depression? I've known a couple people who did it because of severe physical problems and couldn't live with it any longer.

1419 days ago

jacob Marler    

First off, if you are going to put yourself and your life on reality TV, then you are fair game to whatever anyone wants to say about you.

Second. How was he helping to save lives chasing tornadoes for a guy who his only purpose was to film a tornado in imax. Not even the research people wanted to have anything to do with them anymore because they were in it for themselves.

I do feel sorry for his family and friends. RIP Matt

1419 days ago

Brandon Copic    

this is pretty lame...I mean seriously have a bit of respect for his family!? You're also making Matt out like he's a bad person, what the hell do you guy know about Matt, he was a storm chaser, he loved storm chasing, we all are under hard times and he just wasn't able to handle it....I mean seriously what the **** is wrong with you guys.... Matt you will always be in my thoughts and prayers man, we'll see you in Heaven someday... Rest In Peace!

1419 days ago



Before you put words into my mouth let me stop you and correct you. I have an issue with ANY story that violates a family's wishes to privacy being published on here. It has nothing to do with me knowing Matt's family. I said in my post "I usually don't have a problem with that many of your reports" because I don't. I don't see anything wrong with TMZ interviewing John Mayer walking down the street, or Bob Barker getting into his car. I DO have a problem with them posting half-truths, lies, or even the truth when it comes to the death of a person (including Michael Jackson) I understand that it is to be expected to an extent when you are a "star" to have stories written about you, but when it comes to life or death, affairs, and even some legal issues (although legal records are public) I think it should be completely off limits for crappy tabloids.

1419 days ago


Hope this link worked.

"Matt Hughes' ('Storm Chasers') death shocked his viewers on last night' s episode. During the Discovery Channel feature, appropriately titled "Dedication", the news that the veteran meteorologist had died months ago was sobering. How did Matt Hughes die? Was it from storm chasing, or suicide from bouts with depression? The Discovery Channel and the brains behind "Storm Chasers" hit gold when they retained Matt Hughes to be the face of the popular show. With 15 years of experience heading into the paths of "killer tornadoes", his leadership was his trademark. The crew in the "Doghouse" follow-vehicle, from which he gave a forecast of their exploits, depended on that brilliance while they filmed.
TORNADO ABOUT TO TOUCH DOWN THREATENING SKY But, on last night during his final chase episode, fans would get the news that their beloved Matt Hughes had died six months earlier. How this news was kept under wraps for so long is unknown. Almost immediately, rumors began to run rampant that the veteran storm chaser had died during one of his epic chases towards a mammoth tornado. However, that was quickly ruled out by the show's producers. It was revealed on the "Dedication" episode that Hughes died six months ago in May, and the cause of death resulted from a "fatal injury at home" in Wichita, Kansas. The courageous meteorologist was only 30-years-old. But just how did Matt Hughes die? Why are there cryptic details surrounding his death? According to the Orlando Sentinel, and other sources, he passed away from complications stemming from a suicide attempt. He was said to be battling depression and domestic issues. Suicide as a cause of his death is shocking, but understandable, given the stressful conditions associated with his job, pressure to always give the proper angle during his forecast from the "Doghouse", and a host of other things associated with his celebrity. Given his young age of only 30, it is difficult to believe it could have resulted from anything else that was not apparent. It just makes getting over his death that much harder. Matt Hughes was an icon in the realm of meteorology. Many of his peers spend their entire careers trying to get a chance to fill his shoes. However, as his death has shown, possibly from suicide, fame unfortunately comes at a price."

TLC/Discovery ought to something in place to recognize problems to assist their reality stars, instead of exploiting their problems. Well said, Brad Bechler, well said.

1419 days ago


Yes, Matt Hughes is gone, as “Storm Chasers” announced last night in an episode titled “Dedication.” Discovery Channel said the cause of death was not related to his storm-chasing. Several reports said that Hughes died of injuries related to a suicide attempt. Discovery Channel put it this way in previewing last night’s episode: “Matt Hughes, a featured meteorologist on Storm Chasers passed away on May 26th, 2010 in Wichita, Kansas due to an injury unrelated to his chasing activities. Sean, Reed, Tim and everyone involved in Storm Chasers mourn the loss of their friend and colleague. Next Wednesday at 10pm, a special Storm Chasers episode called “Dedication” will feature Matt’s incredible last chase, and is dedicated to his memory. [It aired last night.] “Our thoughts and prayers are with Matt’s family, and we ask fans to kindly respect their privacy. A special memorial fund has been established to benefit Matt’s two young sons.” Hughes is survived by his wife Kendra and two boys, Hunter and Collin, Discovery Channel said. Discovery said donations can be made to: Matthew John Hughes Memorial Fund
c/o Intrust Bank
142 North Ash
Valley Center, Kansas 67147

1419 days ago


Yeah, Samantha day it might be someone very close to you OR you. Never say never, cause life will knock you on your ass.

1419 days ago


Lisa (77) and Brent (83), my condolences on the loss of your friend. I am sorry that you have to see some of the hateful, stupid posts about your friend here.

It's a shame that police reports are open to the public, then this stupid article would never had existed.

Lisa, your post was thoughtful and well-written. I wish that Matt had sought help. His loss is so tragic.

It was hard watching him so excited on that chase, knowing it was his last.

I pray that he is at peace now and I pray for his family.

1419 days ago

I understand    

The angry/uninformed posts distress me a great deal. I have depression and have attempted suicide 4 times in the past 11 years. If I must be totally honest with everyone here, my first thought as to Matt's demise was, "**** - Why can't I get it right?" However, I have also cried all day for him.
You all don't get it. It's not selfish. I can't stand what I end up doing to my family. I want to end the daily pain within myself and that I inflict on my family. I don't think nor act the same way as you. Abe Lincoln (who was famously depressed) said people needed to walk a mile in other's shoes in order to understand them. These hate mongers might want to consider that before being so vocal in their condemnation.

1419 days ago


jacob marler stated, "Second. How was he helping to save lives chasing tornadoes for a guy who his only purpose was to film a tornado in imax."

First off, Matt was a meterologist. He worked and chased to give the public a faster warning time. He was out there to better understand storms. Why storms do or don't produce tornadoes. Before you judge and talk BS, learn something.

1419 days ago


samantha, why don't you do us mature adults afavor and run along and go play in your sandbox.

P.S. just remember Karma ;-)

1419 days ago
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