Archive for Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lawrence man, 20, dies at Wichita hospital after chemicals released in his car on I-70 near Manhattan

October 25, 2011, 10:38 a.m. Updated October 25, 2011, 5:10 p.m.


A 20-year-old Lawrence man died at a Wichita hospital after a suicide attempt on Interstate 70 that shut down the westbound lanes of the highway in Riley County overnight on Monday and into Tuesday morning.

According to information from the Kansas Highway Patrol, the man, whom police identified as Jonathan Seuell, had called 911 asking for a suicide hotline just before 10:30 p.m. Monday. During the call, Riley County dispatchers determined Seuell was on Interstate 70 near Manhattan.

His car was found on the north shoulder of the westbound lanes of I-70 near mile post 318, which is about five miles east of the Kansas Highway 177 exit for Manhattan. As officers approached the car Seuell was driving, a 1997 Honda Civic, he called dispatchers and asked that the officers stay back unless they were wearing chemical suits, because chemicals were inside his car.

Riley County Police Capt. Kurt Moldrup said Seuell had released hydrogen sulfide gas inside the car and stopped talking with officers.

Because of the toxic, flammable nature of the gas, authorities shut down the westbound lanes of the interstate.

Officers tried to negotiate with Seuell for several hours, but he wouldn’t talk with officers, Moldrup said. A robot ultimately was used to survey the car, and found Seuell inside and unresponsive.

Officers in chemical suits approached the car and removed the man. After he was decontaminated, Seuell was taken to Mercy Regional Hospital in Manhattan before being life-flighted to Wichita, where he died later Tuesday.

The interstate was reopened just after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.


Wichita_Lady1 2 years, 5 months ago

I"ve known this boy since he was about 7. He was a sweet kid, and very quiet around me. We were not close, but we went to church together. I honestly haven't seen him in a few years. I pray that comfort comes to his dad and family. Rest in Peace Jon.


lluvsk 2 years, 5 months ago

What a very sad story. As a parent of a child who committed suicide in 2008, my heart goes out to his family who will forever be affected by this tragedy. My thoughts and prayers to his family.


jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

This is very sad. of course.

I hope that he did get to a suicide hotline, and wonder if anything more could have been done to prevent this kind of tragedy.


Pywacket 2 years, 5 months ago

So very sad! As he asked for a suicide hotline prior to releasing the gas, it's obvious he was experiencing great conflict. My brother's best friend committed suicide when they were both 18. He had tried to call my brother earlier in the evening but my brother was at work and didn't know of the call until later (this was long before the era of cell phones).

When a suicidal person has tried to reach out in some way, his family and friends are left forever wondering whether the outcome could have been different, if only.... I hope the family and friends of this young man eventually find some measure of peace and can hold tight to the memories of good times with him.

They should also take some comfort in the thought that, even in his extremity, he thought of others and warned the police that they needed hazmat suits. When we contrast this with others whose anger at the world leads them to purposely take others down with them, this seems like a particularly big-hearted and thoughtful gesture on the part of someone who was suffering so much pain. I'm sure the families of those officers are grateful that he thought of their safety today. It sounds like the world has lost a sensitive and caring soul.


Mike Gerhardt 2 years, 5 months ago

Unfortunate. I have seen alerts of this type of suicide before.


oxandale 2 years, 5 months ago

I cant imagine what would drive him to feel that his only option was suicide. My thoughts and prayers go out t his family.


bearded_gnome 2 years, 5 months ago

LJW wrote: A 20-year-old Lawrence man died at a Wichita hospital after a suicide attempt on Interstate 70 that shut down the westbound lanes of the highway in Riley

---to get the language right this wasn't "an attempt," since he did kill himself.

LJW, whenever you put up a story involving suicides, or suicide attempts, please have a standard paragraph that tells anyone who knows someone who might be suicidal what they can do to help. I'm sure if you talk to the very wise head of Headquarters, she can give you such text. you can keep it in a file and put it at the end of these articles.
please consider doing this; all suicides are potentially preventable. far too many people die needlessly in our country. and here in lawrence we seem to have more than our share.
thank you for considering this.


bearded_gnome 2 years, 5 months ago

I sincerely hope his family or loved ones have support at this time.

every suicide is very sad to me. young Mr. Seuell had a full life ahead of him.


Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 5 months ago

So many people are terribly unsympathetic towards those who find themselves in such terrible situations that they feel they need to commit suicide to escape them, or towards those who have a problem comprehending that there might be solutions to their problems if they would only seek help.

This event reminds me of something my younger brother told me that is very painful to remember:

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

He committed suicide about two years after he told me that.

To the family of the victim, if they ever read this:

You certainly have my sympathy. And, I can assure you that your grief will lessen as time passes. Later, you will remember more of the good times, but right now recent events will be overwhelming.

I wish I could tell you the pain will go away completely, but I can't because it won't. And, those of us who have lost people close to us to suicide will always wish that we could go back to change a few things, but we can't.

This is very important: Don't ever blame yourself for the actions of another person. Every person is responsible for his own actions, so do not allow decisions that were made by someone else to give you any additional pain.

(This was very difficult to write. Besides my younger brother, I have lost a few friends to suicide. I had a dream that involved one of them only last night.)


midwestmom 2 years, 5 months ago

Too sad. My condolences to the family.

Headquarters: 785-841-2345, they also have a listing that is toll-free 1-888-899-2345

Bert Nash Community Mental Health: 785-843-9192

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.TALK


Scut Farkus 2 years, 5 months ago

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1983Hawk 2 years, 5 months ago

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LadyJ 2 years, 5 months ago

Hope he gets the help he needs.


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