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When it comes to the weather, there’s a lot that can get a person down in the dumps, from a day off getting rained out to hurricanes and snowstorms getting deadly and destructive. On Sunday, the world of forecasting was thrown for a loop when Weather Channel meteorologist Nick Wiltgen was reported dead after a car accident in Atlanta, and now that story has taken a darker turn as it’s been revealed that Wiltgen’s death has been officially ruled a suicide.
At some point Sunday afternoon, after doing some coverage on the giant winter storm that wreaked havoc across the East Coast over the weekend, the 39-year-old Wiltgen apparently drove his Volkswagen convertible into the wall of a parking garage in Midtown’s Colony Square Mall. The vehicle broke through that wall and crashed into the neighboring W hotel building (though thankfully just in a storage area and not somewhere more public). Wiltgen’s cause of death was ruled a craniocerebral trauma, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner, and the manner of death has been classified a suicide.
Because this was such a strange and unpredictable incident, at least according to Wiltgen’s colleagues and friends who have all described him as dedicated and humorous, it’s no surprise that toxicology tests were performed to see if Wiltgen was under some kind of influence when making his fatal decision. Those results will not be available for several more weeks, though, according to TheWrap, so for now his motivations remain a shocking mystery.
A quick search of Nick Wiltgen’s name on Twitter reveals many messages mourning the meteorologist’s passing, and Weather Channel execs have been equally compassionate in their reactions to Sunday’s tragedy. Wiltgen originally joined the still relevant network as a radio forecaster back in 2001, where he stayed for 11 years before making the switch to the digital team, where he earned his senior digital meteorologist title. Someone else will sadly have to fill those shoes now.
Upon entering the W’s storage structure, Wiltgen’s car struck another person and could have easily upped the victim count here by one. Luckily, that person is being treated for injuries that aren’t life-threatening.
It’s been a crazy year for on-air TV personalities, and Wiltgen’s suicide comes after a year in which reporters have been mugged and killed on live TV, and others were involved in a murder/suicide travesty. We can only hope that similarly heinous incidents happen with far less frequency in the future.
Everyone here at CinemaBlend sends our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Nick Wiltgen in their time of mourning.