Airline refuses Wisconsin wife's call to suicidal husband - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Airline refuses Wisconsin wife's call to suicidal husband


(CNN) -- A Wisconsin woman says Southwest Airlines kept her from calling her husband moments before he committed suicide.

She learned of the suicide threat while on a Southwest Airlines plane and she says the plane's crew did nothing to help her save her husband.

They're the questions that keep playing in Karen Momsen-Evers' head.

"I go to sleep at night thinking what could I have done, what should I have done?"

The Germantown woman is talking about the death of her husband Andy. He killed himself after sending her a disturbing text. He asked for her forgiveness for what he was about to do.

"I started shaking the minute I got the text and I was panicked, I didn't know what to do," Momsen-Evers said.

Karen was sitting on the runway in New Orleans, her Southwest Airlines flight was preparing to take off. She was returning to Milwaukee after a girls trip to the Big Easy. But when she went to call her husband back, a flight attendant told her no. Karen knew he was serious because she said he had been under a lot of stress.

"The steward slapped the phone down and said you need to go on airplane mode now."

He cited FAA regulations as the plane rumbled down the runway. Karen was in tears, but her hopes for help quickly faded as the jet reached cruising altitude. She flagged down another flight attendant - hoping the airline could somehow call police.

"I begged her, I said I'm sure somebody can make an emergency phone call."

But Karen says she told her no.

"I just wanted somebody to go and try to save him, and nobody helped," she said crying.

Karen sat in her seat for the remainder of the two and half hour flight crying and staring at the text. She called police when the jet reached the gate in Milwaukee, but it came too late. Officers gave her the news when she arrived home.

"They got on their knees, and put their hats over their heart and gave me the, I regret to inform you that your husband has died."

The airline offered a statement, saying their hearts go out to the Evers family during this difficult time. They go on to say, flight attendants are trained to notify the captain if there is an emergency that poses a hazard to the aircraft or the passengers onboard. In this situation, the pilots were not notified. Haunting words Karen believes could have changed the outcome for a man who needed help.

"The pain of knowing that something could have been done, it breaks my heart," she said.

Southwest airlines also offered Momsen-Evers a full refund.

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