The revelation at the end of last week's episode of Storm Chasers that one of its stars, Matt Hughes, had died months earlier, naturally came as a shock to viewers everywhere.
Now his loved ones are opening up about their loss in a statement released today.
"We want the public to know what his many family, friends and coworkers already know; Matt Hughes was truly a wonderful and caring person with such a kind and loving spirit," it reads. "Those around him could not help but love him too."
The statement goes on to say that Hughes' family "never intended to conceal the circumstances surrounding Matt's death in an effort to deceive the public, but rather to allow us to grieve privately, as well as, protect the many young children that have been affected by this tragedy."
According to authorities, Hughes committed suicide on May 26.
"Depression is an extremely widespread, yet treatable, condition," continues the statement. "Those who know of, or may need help themselves, need to seek treatment or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255). We are grateful to so many who have offered their support during Matt's time in the hospital, and the difficult months following his death. Most importantly, we thank God for giving him to us, if only for a short time."
A special episode of Storm Chasers airs tomorrow night at 10 p.m. on Discovery in which Hughes' fellow chaser, Sean Casey, speaks for the first time publicly about his friend's death.