Categorized | Crime, Local

Slain Jogger Identified, Community Mourns

Suzie Seemann was beloved wife, mother & HSU geography lecturer

 

By Charles Douglas
Humboldt Sentinel

 

With two of the joggers in yesterday’s Old Arcata Road hit-and-run recovering from their injuries and subsequent emergency surgery yesterday, the third jogger, who died at the scene of the crime, has now been publicly identified by her family.

Bayside resident Suzanne Seemann, 40, was a lecturer in the Geography Department at Humboldt State University. A mother of two, “Suzie” Seemann was the spouse of Hank Seemann, the deputy director of public works for the County of Humboldt, where he heads up the Environmental Services Division.

A scheduled television interview with Supervisors Virginia Bass and Ryan Sundberg was cancelled yesterday when word came in of Seemann’s death; Bass told the Sentinel that the entire administrative office of the county was in mourning over the tragedy.

“It has been an extremely emotional morning here at the County,” Bass said in an e-mail yesterday.

Seemann’s two jogging companions, 50-year-old Terri Vroman-Little and 41-year-old Jessica Hunt, both of Eureka, were transported to St. Joseph Hospital by emergency services personnel and underwent surgery yesterday; they are now reportedly in recovery.

Along with the rest of the local media, the Sentinel embargoed the identity of the slain jogger until law enforcement could notify next-of-kin. This embargo was broken by The Arcata Eye last night when someone on the Facebook event page of the now-aborted memorial jog at Three Corners Market mentioned the identity of Seemann, which Eye editor Kevin Hoover used as justification for breaking the embargo.

After the embargo was broken, the Hunt, Little and Seeman families released a statement this morning:

“The families of Jessie Hunt (husband Matt and children), Terri Vroman Little (husband Brian and children), the late Suzie Seemann (husband Hank and children), and the late beloved running dog/partner “Maggie” would like to thank the numerous Humboldt County residents, especially the Six Rivers Running Club, for the outpouring of concern and condolences regarding this unthinkable tragedy.

Terri and Jessie both underwent surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital this afternoon and are beginning their recovery from the horrific hit-and-run that occurred on Old Arcata Road this morning shortly before 6:00 AM.

Six Rivers Running Club (SRRC) will try our best to keep our many friends updated on Jessie and Terri’s progression towards recovery, but for now the families are requesting some privacy for a couple of days to deal with their devastation. SRRC thanks our beloved community for their show of concern regarding these three amazing women/mothers and their families.”

Also released this morning was a statement from HSU President Rollin Richmond:

“Yesterday was a sad and tragic day for the Humboldt State University community.

Suzanne Seemann, an instructor in our Department of Geography, was killed by an automobile while she was out on a morning run. Two others who were running with her were critically injured and hospitalized, and one jogger’s dog was struck and killed.

This is a terrible loss for our University. On behalf of our entire community, I would like to express our deepest condolences to Suzanne’s family, her friends and her students. Our thoughts are with them at this most difficult time, and we are here to support them in any way possible.

Suzanne joined our faculty in 2011, after previously teaching at College of the Redwoods. She held degrees from Princeton, University of Wisconsin and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was a specialist in oceanic and atmospheric sciences.

Suzanne’s colleagues in the Department of Geography have shared with me their keen sorrow at her loss. They describe her as an extraordinarily talented and popular instructor, one who will be sorely missed.

Family members, colleagues and students were being notified throughout the day yesterday. Counseling and other services have been offered, and anyone seeking support may contact the Counseling Center on campus at 826-3236.”

At approximately 3 p.m. this afternoon, Supervisor Mark Lovelace issued his own statement on-line:

“Like everyone else, I am deeply saddened by this tragedy. Though I didn’t know Susie Seemann, I do know her husband Hank and have worked with him on a number of projects. I can’t imagine what he and their children must be going through, and I would ask the community to respect their privacy by giving them some time and space to grieve, rather than immediately turning this tragedy into a cause or a call to action.

There has been a strong desire from many in the community to do something to slow down traffic on Old Arcata Road/Myrtle Avenue. There has also been a strong desire to get a dedicated bike trail between Arcata and Eureka. I support both of these goals and will continue to work to push them forward, but we shouldn’t automatically conflate either of them with this terrible accident. Road design, speed limits, signage and the lack of a bay trail may or may not deserve some of the blame. We need to consider the possibility that the blame here may lie solely with the driver.

Let’s all please allow the family the time and space they need before making assumptions of how they would like the community to honor Suzie’s life and memory.”

The memorial jog, which was to be held on Old Arcata Road at Three Corners Market in Freshwater tomorrow morning, was cancelled earlier today. Several friends of the families objected to the event being organized without consulting them.

Another, less protest-like set of public meetings have been scheduled next week, according to a source close to local environmental activist Maggie Gainer. A group calling itself the Old Arcata Road Neighborhoods Safety Initiative is holding two meetings at the Grange Hall on Jacoby Creek Road in Bayside, right off of Old Arcata Road. The first will be on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m., and the second will be on Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.; both are scheduled to last two hours.

The initiative is asking area residents to attend at least one of these meetings to voice their concerns about the road, which last saw safety improvements with the addition of partial bike lanes in 2008.

One Response to “Slain Jogger Identified, Community Mourns”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Warren, you remember, is also believed to be responsible for the death and serious injuries of the three Bayside joggers on September [...]


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Per drug user visits to emergency rooms
     Washington Post  […]
  • Word: Zionism in trouble
    Franklin Lamb, Counterpunch - Despite all the American governments’ current display of massive support for Israel, survival of the apartheid regime is not at all assured. Specifically, Europe, South America, and parts of Asia’s skyrocketing antipathy towards Israel are more than just bluster. Israelis are correct in thinking that they can no longer count on […]
  • Younger workers still not finding jobs
    Zero Hedge - According to the BLS' household survey, while overall July jobs rose, if modestly less than the 209K revealed by the establishment survey, there was no joy for those aged 25-54: historically the most important and highest earning age group (in case anyone is wondering where all that missing average hourly earnings growth is) within the US l […]
  • Why labor unions are necessary
    From 50 years of our overstocked archives Sam Smith, 2011 - If you came of age in the past ten years and don't belong to a union or come from a family of union members, chances are most of what you've heard about these labor organizations has been, on balance, negative. Which helps to explain why as late as a decade ago, two thirds of Americans app […]
  • Furthermore. . .
    The United Nations has said almost 24% of Gaza's population have fled their homes....UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told a UN Security Council hearing the total number of displaced people in Gaza now stands at 440,000. That includes 240,000 people who have sought refuge in UN shelters.1451 Palestinians, 59 Israelis DeadCoreLogic, a California compan […]
  • California's drought worsens
    Richard Brenneman - While all of the state remains in a condition of Severe Drought, the latest United States Drought Monitor map reveals a dramatic increase of in the region ranked in the most severe Exceptional Drought category, which now covers 58.4 percent of the Golden State, compared to last week’s 36.5 percent. The critically impacted region now inclu […]
  • Another corporate myth dismantled
    USA Today -  Bosses who yell, threaten and micromanage their way to the top, often at the expense of miserable underlings are all too common in today's workplaces.But the Tony Sopranos and Darth Vaders of popular culture are not the most effective CEOs in the real world, according to a new study from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State Un […]
  • Americans still overwhelmingly negative on a lower drinking age
    Alternet - A newly released Gallup study confirms that Americans on the whole are still very much a conservative bunch when it comes to alcohol. The majority still reject a federal law that would lower the minimum drinking age to 18.  A whopping 74 percent of the 1,013 adults aged 18 or older who were surveyed said they would oppose such legislation, which i […]
  • Corporate money causing civil rights group to go off course on net neutrality
    Huffington Post - The NAACP and several other major civil rights groups have emerged as flashpoints in the debate over net neutrality, the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.More than 40 civil rights groups are supporting broadband providers that oppose strict net neutrality rules. The civil rights groups say they're siding with th […]
  • The People's Party on campaign financing
    How Americans are distanced from both their major parties A majority of likely voters among Democrats (75%), Independents (64%) and Republicans (54%) see the wave of spending by Super PACs this election cycle as “wrong and leads to our elected officials representing the views of wealthy donors.”MORE […]
  • Meanwhile. . .
    The difference between Orwell and HuxleyStudents protesting against North Face Another bomb in DC's school test mania […]
  • How sanctions will really affect Russian oil
    Richard Heinberg, Ecowatch - The New York Times reports that “The United States and Europe kicked off a joint effort on Tuesday intended to curb Russia’s long-term ability to develop new oil resources.” The new sanctions would deny Russia access to western technology needed to access polar oil and deepwater oil, as well as tight oil produced by hydrofracturi […]
  • Action links
    NEWS   Action news   How to plan your own Moral Monday Building peace teams ACTIONS Detroit Water Brigade Moral Mondays Tar Sands protests Occupy ACLU Bad Ass Teachers BOYCOTTS Hobby Lobby IsraelAcademic/Cultural Koch Brothers Nestle Staples Walmart Monsanto Essays Where change really comes from Running out of change The Clinton-Obama-Alinsky myth   Activism […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    If global dumbing is not halted, we may wake up one morning and find that no one in this country knows how to make anything anymore. We may discover our dearest friends and relatives in a catatonic state before the TV and the device won't even be on. When we call for help we may find that 911 has become an endless loop voice mail system from which one c […]
  • Word
    The censorial power is in the people over the government and not in the government over the people -- James Madison […]