Autopsy: Seaman student Andrew Green died from suicide in head-on crash

Andrew Green, a 16-year-old Seaman High School junior, died from suicide on Jan. 17 in a two-vehicle, head-on crash near N.W. 46th and Camden Lane. (January 2017 file photo/Phil Anderson/The Capital-Journal)

Emily Rhoades said she felt a sense of calm she hadn’t expected after reading her teenaged brother’s suicide note.


The letter written by 16-year-old Seaman High School student Andrew Green wasn’t sad, said his 21-year-old sister.

Instead, she recalled, it said: “I want to see the other side. I want to see what’s beyond this world.”

Rhoades spoke with The Capital-Journal after the Shawnee County District Court Clerk’s office on Monday released the autopsy report for Green, who was pronounced dead at 7:50 a.m. Jan. 17 after the car he’d been driving and another vehicle collided in the 2600 block of N.W. 46th.

Charles Glenn, Shawnee County district coroner, concluded Green’s cause of death was blunt trauma injuries and his manner of death was suicide.

Green wrote multiple suicide notes around the time of the collision, the report said. Green wasn’t wearing a seat belt when the vehicle he was driving left its lane and collided head-on with another vehicle, it added.

“According to a witness, the vehicle did not attempt to brake or correct back into the other lane,” the report said.

No drugs or alcohol were found in Green’s system, it said.

District Court Clerk Angela Callahan’s office, which received the autopsy report Monday afternoon from Glenn’s office, released a copy later that afternoon in response to a request from The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Shawnee County Sheriff Herman Jones’ office said Jan. 17 that Green died after a gray Pontiac Grand Am he was driving eastbound went left of center and was involved in a collision with a westbound Dodge pickup truck.

The pickup truck’s driver suffered injuries, but survived. Neither driver had any passengers.

The autopsy report’s assertion that Green wasn’t wearing a seat belt conflicted with Jones’ statement the day of the collision that the youth had been wearing a seat belt.

The pickup driver was wearing a seat belt, Jones said.

Rhoades described her brother Monday evening as the smartest, most intellectual person she’d ever known.

“He was fun, he was loving, he had a heart of gold,” she said. “He had a wonderful girlfriend he loved, and she loved him.”

Green didn’t seem to feel emotion the way other people feel emotion, his sister added.

“I don’t want people to think that my brother left this world because he was sad, because that’s not it,” she said. “He almost felt like it wasn’t for him.”

Rhoades said she wanted people to know that sometimes people die of suicide without showing signs in advance.

“Treasure every moment you have with someone, because you never know what’s going through their mind,” she said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Contact reporter Tim Hrenchir at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.

Mayoral elections are Aug. 2
Patsy Mann-Holtz 6 days ago
No drugs in his system. What are they trying to say?? People have to have drugs in their system to die by suicide? That is false.
Danielle Mayhew 6 days ago
No I think they were just ruling it out as a cause of the accident
Dawn Ramcharan 6 days ago
Except it wasn't an accident.
Mary Gillaspie 5 days ago
No they do not. Dumbest Statement I have ever heard. I lost a son to suicide 4 years ago , I also lost a big piece of my heart. I watched my son battle depression his entire life. Once he reached adulthood it continued to get worse. It was like he didn't know where he belonged both in the world or with his friends. He was so loving. He lived at home , I was with him all day. No drugs, no alcohol. I stepped out of the house for apx.. 20 min. He gave me his normal hug , I love you mom , see in a min. He shot himself before I got back home. Depression is an illness , not a drug addiction.  I suffer from depression,  he inherited from me.
Sandi Gavlak Plotner 4 days ago
Mary, I get that.  My son chose suicide less than a year ago.  He left behind a wife and 4 kids.  My pain is unquenched.  No one should be judge and jury with how a person was thinking before their death.  None of us really knows the demons.  BTW, my son did not have drugs in his system either.

Mary Gillaspie 4 days ago
Thank you. I just hate ignorant people that post about things they know nothing about without taking other people's feelings into consideration. People really need to be educated on mental illness.
Ken Collins 6 days ago
Very sad but this guy put another person's life in danger.
Nurse Of the year 5 days ago
My thoughts exactly. I am sure it hasn't been pleasant to recover from.
Mary Gillaspie 5 days ago
I realize that Ken , I was replying to the very ignorant person that said suicide could not be committed unless the person was on drugs. I agree putting another person's life at risk was a plan not thought out , but that's just it , with depression if it's bad enough you aren't logical

Kimmie Oliver 5 days ago
I sincerely hope none of us have to walk in this Family's Shoes in our Lives.
How very SAD.
Bud Hidalgo 5 days ago
Why didn't he just ram a bridge, embankment there in the picture or anything else  instead of head on into an innocent person?   I am sure the person in truck was hurt and took a long time to recover. 
Anne Abbo 4 days ago
That would have been a rational decision. I can't blame him for that.
Mary Gillaspie 3 days ago
No it probably wasn't a rational decision. People really need to educate themselves on mental illness. Him running his car into at truck is really no more rational than my son putting a gun to his head and shooting himself. Who do you think cleaned it up ?? Do you think mentally his father will ever heal . Yet our son was the the one person we will always stand behind and not have have hard feelings for and support through this because we SAW his struggles. We struggled along with him and did everything we could to help . I know there are thousands of parents out there that understand this.

mary clinton 5 days ago
How sad, Thank God the vehicle he ran into, the driver survived.  This was an irresponsible act committed by a troubled child.
Anne Abbo 4 days ago
I am so glad you remembered he was a child. I don't believe he was capable of making a responsible or irresponsible decision. I would have used the word irrational.
Mary Gillaspie 3 days ago
He wasn't a child. He was old enough to drive a car. Like so many other people with this kind of illness you can tell by the letter he left behind he was very mature and more intelligent than most of the adults posting on this thread. The problems comes with not knowing how to fit into a society that they don't fit into. it messes with their minds , it makes them think irrationally about certain things. I know nothing about Andrew , I didn't know him, but from reading about him I know he had similar traits to my son. My son was brilliant , artistic, very loving , adored children and animals, but his entire life his was never like his siblings. The older he got , the more uncomfortable he got in his skin. He was very popular all through school which actually made it worse. He didn't like being the center of attention, but he had a personality that drew people to him. After he graduated he continued to g down hill. you could tell he so much wanted to be normal. Nothing we could do was enough to help. People can try to place the blame as much as they want on the young man, but the fact is , he was someone that was lost in the system. His parents more than likely didn't even know because kids don't like to talk about things like this with their parents. People need to educated on Mental illness so they can spot the little signs , we are losing so many people . People that are  " NORMAL "
McKenna Seymour 5 days ago
Suicide is the most selfish act a person can take. To involve an unknowing stranger, who may have had a family, financial issues, whatever, is beyond selfish. Thanks to his decision, the man in the other vehicle now has to live with the memory of that wreck. In every way it is just wrong.
Mary Gillaspie 5 days ago
Have you ever lived with anyone that felt the need to commit suicide ? Sometimes it's not selfish at all , they have just reached a point that living in this world is no longer an option. The people closest to them , no matter how heartbreaking it is understands they are going to a better place, no matter what some Biblethumpers may say.
[removed] 5 days ago
This comment has been deleted
Emily Wiseman 5 days ago
how disgusting of you to say. andrew was not in his right mind. when depression overtakes a person, the thoughts of how their actions might affect others are not easy to process. repurcusions never crossed his mind. his friends and family are grieving greatly, and such an insensitive thought should be kept to yourself. you have no idea what it is like to feel this kind of loss, or else you wouldn't be talking like this.
Mary Gillaspie 5 days ago
Thank you
James Kleitz 4 days ago
Lucy, what kind of disrespect for life YOU must have... Sure, this guy was mentally ill and needlessly took another life into his hand, but what right do you have to presume that he was less than you? I've never heard such a disgraceful comment about another person. Surely people will see the true scum through your awful comment. Would you say that about Andrew if you knew him? Would you say that directly to his mom? Or his girlfriend? Because you have. These comments are public. You're not even close to being perfect. Don't profess that anybody else should be too.
Sandi Gavlak Plotner 4 days ago
You clearly haven't suffered, or watched someone suffer to the degree this person did.  While I don't understand why he chose to involve someone else (the truck driver) in his decision, your choice to call him SCUM or A$$OLE puts you at the bottom of the heap as well.  You see, his family and friends are already in severe pain, trying to make sense of this, attempting to put one foot in front of the other......and remarks like you made only dig the grief deeper into their hearts (and trust me, they'll eventually see what you wrote....maybe you don't have a heart for those left behind).  It's been 11 months since my son chose suicide.....your post only makes it worse, even for me.
Sarah Guffy 5 days ago
This should never been posted. Depression is a serious illness but don't take some one else with you. God bless the driver in the truck. He will live with this the rest of his life. He was made a part of this tragic suicide. Yes I feel sorry for the young man but I couldn't forgive him for involving another person.
George Pearson 5 days ago
Sure depression is sad and suicide is horrible but utterly selfish to harm another person in one's self-killing and risk taking another's innocent life.   Sad all the way around for sure but let's not make some kind of hero or martyr out of the person who committed this selfish act.
Charles Green 5 days ago
Suicide, very complex subject, Kansas and many other states have a poor rating on mental health treatment. I think there will be more sad stories in the future for you to  post on or be involved in. No relation to the family of this teenager.
Sandi Gavlak Plotner 4 days ago
Yep.....Kansas does very little for those who suffer from mental illness.  I am a grieving mom.
Mary Gillaspie 4 days ago
We couldn't get help for our son. Once he got too old to be on our insurance he couldn't get his own because of preexisting conditions. Trying to get anything from the state was a joke. Had he been strung out on drugs like the one person so politely said all suicide people are., maybe we could have. I just know that we battled with the state for many years trying to get disability or a medical card so he could be placed in a in care mental health facility and we could get no help. We took him to a regular therapist but it wasn't enough. You could tell he so much wanted to be normal , he was so loving, the fight just got to be too hard. I was mad at so many people after I lost my son , I will never get over what happened,  but the one person I stand by , do not blame and never got mad at was him.


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