WATCH ABOVE: A woman says a Southwest flight crew wouldn’t let her place an emergency call after a text from her husband warned of his suicide. Mike Armstrong reports.
TORONTO – A Southwest Airlines passenger said flight crews prevented her from making an emergency call to her husband after receiving a text that he was about to commit suicide.
Karen Momsen-Evers was heading from New Orleans to her home in Milwaukee when she received an alarming text from her husband just before takeoff.
“I started shaking the minute I got the text and I was panicked, I didn’t know what to do,” Momsen-Evers told NBC-affiliate WTMJ. “The steward slapped the phone down and said you need to go on airplane mode now.”
According to WTMJ the distressing text message read: “Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I am going to kill myself.”
Momsen-Evers said she attempted to make an emergency call to police to help her husband, but was denied by two different flight attendants citing Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
After landing in Wisconsin nearly two hours later she called her home but received no answer. When Momsen-Evers arrived home she was met by police who told her that her husband, Andy, was dead.
“The pain of knowing something could have been done, it breaks my heart,” she said.
Attempts by Global News to reach Southwest Airlines for comment at the time of publishing were not successful.
In a statement to WTMJ, the company said:
“Our hearts go out to the family during this difficult time. Flight attendants are trained to notify the Captain if there is an emergency that poses a hazard to the aircraft or to the passengers on-board. In this situation, the pilots were not notified.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, visit suicideprevention.ca for a list of resources.
In case of an emergency, please call 911.