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Posted: May 14, 2015

Widow says Southwest flight crew wouldn't let her call suicidal husband

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

GERMANTOWN, Wis. —

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Southwest Airlines is under fire after a Wisconsin woman said a flight crew refused to let her make an emergency call to her husband before he took his own life.

According to WTMJ in Milwaukee, Karen Momsen-Evers was on a flight from New Orleans to Milwaukee last month when she received an alarming text message from her husband just before takeoff: “Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I am going to kill myself."

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She said she quickly responded "no" to the message and tried to call her husband, but "the steward slapped the phone down and said, 'You need to go on airplane mode now.'" Momsen-Evers said she explained the emergency, but the flight attendant said she could not call because of "FAA regulations." 

When the plane was in the air, Momsen-Evers said she told a different flight attendant about the issue and asked about placing an emergency call, but was again denied.

"I just wanted someone to go and try to save him," Momsen-Evers told WTMJ.

She said she wasn't able to call police until after the plane landed in Milwaukee. After she rushed home, officers at the scene told her that her husband had killed himself. 

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"The pain of knowing something could have been done, it breaks my heart," Momsen-Evers said.

In a statement to WTMJ, Southwest said, "Our hearts go out to the Evers 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."

Read the full story here.

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