A meteorologist who worked for the Weather Channel was tragically killed on Sunday after crashing his vehicle through a parking garage wall. He eventually ended up plowing into a nearby hotel, causing a worker to be injured in the process.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office told various news outlets that the victim, 39-year-old Nicholas Wiltgen, was pronounced dead Sunday evening after the horrific crash that took place at the Midtown Atlanta’s Colony Square Mall.
According to the New York Daily News, the talented meteorologist passed away while he was gathering news on the atrocious snowstorm that hit the east coast just recently.
Atlanta police spokesperson Kim Jones said that Mr. Wiltgen’s vehicle traveled approximately 20 feet before slamming into the building. In the process, the car struck a nearby worker, who is currently being treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Colony Square management said the person injured in the tragic accident wasn’t a hotel employee after all, as it was originally reported.
“We are cooperating with Atlanta police as they continue their investigation into the incident,” the complex said in a statement. “At no time were visitors to Colony Square in danger, and we are relieved that no one in our parking area was injured. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased and with the hotel worker.”
Originally, police suggested that Wiltgen died from an apparent heart attack but now say that he suffered a head injury or craniocerebral trauma. Eyewitnesses stated to police that they saw a Volkswagen traveling at a high speed before it ended up crashing into the wall.
Wiltgen was eventually pulled out of the car by witnesses, who then tried to perform CPR on him, but sadly it was too late. The weather man died instantly at the scene.
It is still unknown at this time on what caused Wiltgen to crash his car into the parking garage at an alarming rate of speed. However, some sources have suggested that Wiltgen was experiencing some sort of medical emergency at the time of the accident. In the meantime, police are still investigating the tragic accident that claimed Wiltgen’s life.
According to CBS News, Cameron Clayton, the president of product and technology for the Weather Company, sent out an email to employees stating that Wiltgen was working as a senior digital meteorologist at the station and had been with the Weather Channel for more than 15 years.
In a statement, the Weather Channel said, “He was promoted to senior digital meteorologist in December 2014, where he led and supervised the digital met team. He was also a familiar face on air, appearing on The Weather Channel from time to time to discuss a story featured in a digital package.”
In 1998, Wiltgen received a bachelor’s degree in the field of meteorology from the University of Nebraska. Before joining the Weather Channel in 2001, the 39-year-old was reportedly working at a business and weather consulting firm.
Clayton released a statement to People surrounding the death of his fellow colleague.
“We have lost a treasured member of The Weather Channel family. Nick Wiltgen was at Weather for more than 15 years as a senior digital meteorologist and integral member of our content team,” the statement read. “Millions read his work every week and were better for it. He was a dedicated, passionate member of our family and we will miss him deeply. Our heartfelt sympathy is with his family and friends.”
Clayton also said that grief counselors would be made available for all employees at the Weather Channel throughout the day on Tuesday.
Many people, including television personality Al Roker, expressed their sympathies surrounding Wiltgen’s death on social media.
Thoughts and prayers to Nick Wiltgen's family. Such a part of @weatherchannel His smile, expertise and camaraderie will be missed— Al Roker (@alroker) January 25, 2016
Saddened by the loss of my friend and colleague @WxNick. Our wx facts will never be as full. You will be truly missed.— Mark Elliot (@twcMarkElliot) January 25, 2016
[Image via Nick Wiltgen/Twitter]