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

  • William Burroughs getting in the Halloween spirit
    VIA CURTIS KISE […]
  • Down East Notes
    PUBLIC INFORMATION ANNOUNCEMENT Town of Freeport, MEOn Monday evening, October 27, 2014, the Maine State Police informed Freeport’s Police and Fire Departments that Ms. Kaci Hickox would be stopping in Freeport for one night on her way to her home in Fort Kent. Ms. Hickox is a healthcare worker who recently returned to the United States after caring for Ebol […]
  • The new Middle Ages
    Some readers may recall our occasional thesis that we are living in a new Middle Ages in which the masses are up against a relatively few paranoid lords in well moated castles aka Washington and NYC. We were please to find that Monty Python was on this case some time ago.VIDEO […]
  • Mid and late career teachers are underpaid
    Center for American Progress:Mid- and late-career teacher base salaries are painfully low in many states. In Colorado, teachers with a graduate degree and 10 years of experience make less than a trucker in the state. In Oklahoma, teachers with 15 years of experience and a master’s degree make less than sheet metal workers. And teachers in Georgia with 10 yea […]
  • What's happening
    What happens when you criticize Teach for America? Over 214,000 doctors won't participate in the new plans under the Affordable Care Act analysis of a new survey by Medical Group Management Association shows. It's about a quarter of the total number of 893,851 active professional physicians reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation.The 29 states whe […]
  • FBI comes up with new assault on Constitution
    Guardian - The FBI is attempting to persuade an obscure regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement in order to seize significant new powers to hack into and carry out surveillance of computers throughout the US and around the world.Civil liberties groups warn that the proposed rule change amounts to a power grab by the agency that would […]
  • How corporations staged a coup against America
    Vox - In September, a proposal to amend the US Constitution to allow tougher campaign finance and election spending restrictions went down to defeat in the Senate, on a party-line vote. Now, a new analysis by Common Cause rounded up the latest lobbying filings to find which interest groups disclosed lobbying against this amendment.There are no great surprise […]
  • US kept jailing people despite drop in crime
    OFF THE CHARTS […]
  • White House coverup of the day
    Washington Post - Bloomberg White House correspondent Margaret Talev noted how the White House stopped giving details on the fine wines served at state dinners, an opaque measure that she exposed in this story. In pursuing the piece, said Talev, she got the runaround from White House press officials, making her “so mad at them.” […]
  • Word: The space explosion could have been worse
    Karl Grossman - This event underlines again the folly of using nuclear power in space — something the United States and Russia are again actively planning. An explosion on launch is not unusual — indeed, one out of 100 rockets fail on launch. But, consider if radioactive materials were on board — as will be the situation for the proposed U.S. and Russian nuc […]
  • The real Clinton story: 1982
    Stories the media doesn't tell you about the Clintons and the state that made them  A DEA report uncovered by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard will cite an informant claiming that a key Arkansas figure and backer of Clinton "smuggles cocaine from Colombia, South America, inside race horses to Hot Springs." The London Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pric […]
  • Real economics: Wages
    Among all employees nationally, 56 percent are hourly workers, and 32 percent of these, or more than 21 million, earn less than $10.10 per hour, according to University of Virginia researchers in the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service’s Demographics Research Group. The Labor Department reports that the 13 states that raised their minimum wage in 2014 ha […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    A real simple rule on privatization: Ask the following question: Is this something about which citizens should have a say? If the answer is yes, don't privatize. - Sam Smith […]
  • Word
    The day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. […]
  • Jazz break
    Coleman Hawkins Quintet […]