Texas Weather Forecaster Kelly Plasker Dies 2 Years After Teenage Son's Death by Suicide
An on-air tribute for Kelly Plasker remembered her as a "bright spot in our weekend mornings, and in our lives"
A news station in Texas is in mourning after one of its own broadcasters died suddenly over the weekend.
KCBD in Lubbock honored late weather forecaster Kelly Plasker in an on-air tribute on Sunday night, calling her a "bright spot in our weekend mornings, and in our lives."
News anchor Kase Wilbanks told viewers before the tribute that Plasker's "sudden death early this morning has broken our hearts."
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic and sudden loss of KCBD weekend morning forecaster Kelly Plasker. Kelly was a dedicated member of the KCBD weather staff, well-liked by viewers and admired by her co-workers. Our deepest sympathies go out to Kelly's family in this time of great loss," KCBD vice president and general manager Dan Jackson said in a statement.
"We would like to thank the many viewers who have reached out through our social media channels in kindness and support to honor Kelly's memory," Jackson continued.
Plasker was with KCBD, an NBC affiliate, for three years before her death, according to the station.
"She showed her heart and her love, for which we will all be thankful for," her tribute said. "From the KCBD family to Kelly, we share our sympathies. We’re grateful for the time we shared with Kelly and the joy she shared with us."
Though a cause of death was not given, Wilbanks urged viewers to "ask for help if you're struggling or had thoughts of suicide" following Plasker's tribute, sharing contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
"Everyone should educate themselves on warning signs," he said.
Social media tributes to Plasker also encouraged those who are struggling with mental health to seek help.
Plasker's death comes two years after her 19-year-old son, Thomas Locke, died by suicide.
"Kelly Plasker had a smile as big as Texas and a heart of gold. She loved big and hurt deeply. Her heart was broken from the suicide death of her son Thomas, and then her father’s sudden death just months later," journalist Sharon Maines wrote on Facebook.
"Her grief was a daily struggle but she put on that smile and persevered," she continued. "If any of you are struggling please please please talk to someone. There are so many broken hearts today. Prayers for Kelly’s two children and her family and all of us who loved her."
"Don’t know that I could’ve been swayed in my darkest moments but I’m grateful I’m here & can share: you aren’t alone," the meteorologist said. "The hospital is an easy place to start-no shame in going. They can help you find the RIGHT kind of help. It’s why I’m managing & healing today."
"People you know are experiencing pain you will never understand. Consider kindness and empathy," Emmy-winning meteorologist James Spann wrote on Twitter. "Getting help is not a sign of weakness, but a show of strength."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.