'Storm Chasers' Star Matt Hughes Dead at 30
By Zach Dionne Posted Nov 4th 2010 10:13AM
The installment, titled 'Dedication,' detailed Hughes' final storm chase. Hughes is survived by his wife, Kendra, and two sons, Collin and Hunter. A June 7 blog post from Wichita's ABC affiliate KAKE-TV, written by Hughes' friend and former colleague, reads: "Matt Hughes was taken to the hospital after trying to take his life. 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. I knew we were going to lose him. What a lot of us didn't know was that he suffered from depression."
"Matt has had a life-long fascination with extreme weather," reads a Discovery Channel biography of Hughes. "Last year, Matt forecasted for the TIV team in the follow vehicle, Doghouse. This season, Matt is out of the Doghouse and in the navigation seat of the TIV, hoping to guide Sean to a perfect tornado intercept."
"Matt's been asking for more control all year long," Sean Casey, leader of the storm-chasing TIV team, said at the episode's beginning. The rest of the show detailed Hughes' leadership on what Discovery Channel dubbed the show's "best tornado intercept ever."
According to the KAKE blog post, more than 500 people attended Hughes' funeral. "Matt was a young, vibrant, and resourceful man," wrote reporter Aaron Blaser. "One who embodies the passion everyone should have doing something they love. He would do anything for anyone, would try to make everyone happy, would try to do a good job for someone ... and would never ask for anything in return."
A larger sample of Hughes' 'Storm Chasers' bio reads:
Discovery established a memorial fund to benefit Hughes' young sons. According to Zap2It, upcoming episodes of the series will show the team mourning the loss of their colleague.Growing up in the heart of Tornado Alley, he was able to witness severe storms from an early age. This passion has yielded Matt nearly two decades worth of storm chasing expertise. In addition to chasing with the TIV team, Matt chases for a Wichita news affiliate, and regularly contributes to the nationally syndicated radio show The Storm Report.
See a preview of Hughes' final episode, with footage of his triumphant tornado interception:
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