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ATLANTA - A man who died Sunday after crashing a Volkswagen into a parking garage at Midtown’s Colony Square Mall in Atlanta was identified Monday as 39-year-old Nicholas Wiltgen, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Wiltgen was a senior digital meteorologist with The Weather Channel, said Cameron Clayton, president of product and technology at the Atlanta-based media company.
Clayton emailed a statement to the company’s employees Monday, said Maureen Marshall, a spokeswoman for The Weather Channel.
“We have lost a treasured member of The Weather Channel family,” Clayton said. “Nick Wiltgen was at Weather for more than 15 years as a senior digital meteorologist and integral member of our content team.
“Millions read his work every week and were better for it. He was a dedicated, passionate member of our family and we will miss him deeply. Our heartfelt sympathy is with his family and friends.”
Wiltgen was pronounced dead at the scene of the deadly accident after he crashed into an adjacent hotel and injured another person.
A witness saw the Volkswagen Eos 3.2 traveling “at a very high rate of speed” before running into the wall at the parking garage, located near the intersection of Peachtree and 14th streets, according to information released by Atlanta police and fire officials.
The car went through the wall and about 20 feet into the adjacent W Atlanta-Midtown, where it hit a person in a storage area around 5:30 p.m, Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones said. Authorities initially described the injured person as a hotel worker, but a W Atlanta spokeswoman clarified Monday that he was a member of an “independent production company.” He was treated for non-life threatening injuries, Jones said.
Witnesses “pulled the [driver] out of the car and attempted CPR,” fire department spokesman Cortez Stafford said, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
“Atlanta police is investigating the incident,” Stafford said in an emailed statement, “and it has yet to be determined exactly what happened or why the male ran into the wall.”
Media colleagues of Wiltgen’s began sending their condolences via Twitter Monday afternoon.
Al Roker, co-anchor of The Today Show, said on Twitter his thoughts and prayers are with Wiltgen’s family.
“His smile, expertise and camaraderie will be missed,” Roker said.
Mark Elliot, a meteorologist with The Weather Channel, said he was saddened by the loss of his friend and colleague.
“Our WX facts will never be as full,” Elliot said in a Twitter post. “You will be truly missed.”