42-year-old TV anchor jumps in front of a train to her death

 December 13, 2023

A television news anchor in Erie County, Pennsylvania has died at the young age of 42. 

Emily Matson, a 20-year veteran at Erie News Now, was a fixture on televisions screens in the county.

Tragically, Matson was found to have taken her own life by jumping in front of a train.

News anchor dies

Matson started as a morning producer before moving on to the crime beat as a general assignment reporter. She then moved up to co-anchoring the weekday newscasts at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“I must be dreaming!  An anchor gig in my hometown! I am so happy to be in Erie, telling the stories that impact my neighbors every day,” she wrote in her professional bio.

The county coroner said the evidence of a suicide was "unquestionable," the New York Post reported.

Matson was struck dead by a train in Fairview, Pennsylvania early Monday morning. She had been on the air Friday night.

Her friends and colleagues had no inkling of her dark fate.

"She was very, very upbeat," Paul Wagner, a retired reporter at Erie News Now, told The Erie Times-News. "She was a very positive person. She was always encouraging the new people. She always had a joke for everyone."

"Shining light"

As a crime reporter, she developed a rapport with police in Erie and married a local cop, Ryan Onderko.

"She was always upbeat," police chief Dan Spizarny said. "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."

Outside of Erie, Matson was known for producing newscasts in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she provided hurricane coverage.

Her employer described her as a "shining light" in her professional life.

“It is with a very heavy heart that we have learned of the passing of our beloved Erie News Now news anchor Emily Matson," Erie News parent company Lily Broadcasting wrote.

"Emily was a shining light in our newsroom, delivering news with a passion and love she had for the Erie community and Northwest Pennsylvania. We loved Emily dearly and our hearts go out to the Matson family and her husband Ryan at this time."

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