The cause of death for a beloved 42-year-old northwestern Pennsylvania local TV news anchor has been ruled a suicide, officials said Tuesday.
Emily Matson died after being hit by a train in Fairview Township, where she lived, according to The Erie Times-News. Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook told The Post Tuesday that the woman had taken her own life, adding that the evidence was “unquestionable.”
The sad news came as colleagues at Erie News Now fondly remembered the 19-year veteran of the news station.
“She was very, very upbeat,” Paul Wagner, a retired Erie News Now reporter who had worked there for 41 years, told the local paper.
“She was a very positive person. She was always encouraging the new people. She always had a joke for everyone.”
Matson joined WICU-TV in 2004 after graduating college and worked as an overnight producer, according to her online bio.
She then became a general assignment reporter focused on crime while maintaining a cheery disposition.
“Emily was fearless and filterless,” Lisa Adams, a veteran reporter and anchor at Erie News Now reportedly said.
“I think those were the two things that made her a great member of our news team. We are just devastated,” Adams added.
“She expected a lot of herself and expected a lot of other people in the newsroom,” her former co-worker continued, adding she was “stunningly gorgeous” but also “100% herself.”
Reporter Jamison Hixenbaugh recalled how she mentored inexperienced journalists in the small television market with good humor.
“Side-splitting,” he reportedly said.
“She was great. She was one of the funniest people I knew.”
Matson enjoyed a good relationship with local sources, including Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarny, who called her a “regular” at the police station.
“She was always upbeat,” Spizarny told the paper. “She never had a bad day. No matter how bad the news was that day, she always left making you feel good. You would never see her in a bad mood.”
Matson was also seen on air in Guam and in the US Virgin Islands where she anchored and produced newscasts.
“Whatever she was asked to do, she became excellent at it,” Adams said. “No matter what she was asked to do, she stepped up to do it with style and elegance.”
Matson wrote in her professional biography that she felt she was “really making a difference in the Erie community, meeting new people and telling stories that affect everybody every day,” adding she loved her job because everyday was different.
“I must be dreaming! An anchor gig in my hometown! I am so happy to be in Erie, telling the stories which impact my neighbors every day.”
Funeral arrangements for Matson were set to be held on Friday and Saturday in Millcreek Township, and sure to be filled with countless people the television personality made an impression on.
“She was a positive influence on everyone,” Erie News Now retiree Paul Wagner said.
“You would come in from a rough day, and she would tell a joke and make everyone feel better.”