clearn.png
Thursday May 23rd, 2019 11:32PM
6:31PM ( 5 hours ago ) Weather Alert

Profiles of victims from deadly Alaska mid-air collision

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A newly married couple, a pilot who used his family's savings to buy his own plane, a devoted family man from Australia and an office manager at an insurance company with a vivacious personality and a heart of gold were among the six victims in this week's deadly midair collision of two sightseeing planes in Alaska.

Ten others survived the Monday crash over an inlet in southeast Alaska near the cruise ship port community of Ketchikan. All 14 passengers were off the cruise ship Royal Princess, which is on a seven-day trip in Alaska.

Alaska State Troopers identified the passengers who died as 46-year-old Louis Botha of San Diego, 56-year-old Simon Bodie from Tempe, New South Wales, Australia, 62-year-old Cassandra Webb from St. Louis, 39-year-old Ryan Wilk from Utah and 37-year-old Elsa Wilk of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Also killed was the pilot of one of the planes, 46-year-old Randy Sullivan of Ketchikan.

Responders have begun to recover the wreckage of planes, according to federal accident investigators. The larger of the floatplanes was recovered and put on a barge to be transported to Ketchikan, National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy said Wednesday. The NTSB has a team of investigators from Washington, D.C., at the scene.

The recovery of the smaller plane has begun and will take longer because of the large debris field from that aircraft, Homendy said.

Here's a closer look at the victims:

SIMON BODIE

Simon Bodie, 56, was a businessman from Tempe, New South Wales, Australia, and described in Australian media as a "devoted family man."

Bodie, a father of two, is believed to have taken the fateful flight with his wife of 31 years, Stephanie, The Australian newspaper reported.

"Simon was a unique beautiful person and a devoted family man. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him," his family said in a statement issued through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

RANDY SULLIVAN

Randy Sullivan knew the perils of flying in southeast Alaska, where weather is always a challenge.

"The danger," Sullivan told the Los Angeles Times in a profile in 2015, "it's on people's minds. Always."

His wife, Julie, also knew the risks.

She kissed him before each flight as a gesture of good luck and love.

The Sullivans owned and operated Mountain Air Service, a flight service specializing in Misty Fjords National Monument tours, bear viewing and glacier tours, according to the company website. It says Sullivan grew up in Ketchikan, spending time as a child in remote logging camps.

He received aviation training at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before returning to Ketchikan. He flew in the Ketchikan area for 14 years, according to the website.

"After countless hours of flying, he has become extremely well respected and known to be 'one of the best' in his field," the page states.

He spent his family's $500,000 savings on a 1952 Beaver airplane, he told the Los Angles newspaper. It wasn't clear if that aircraft was the doomed plane.

Julie Sullivan has been given legal advice not to speak to reporters, said her father, Bud Kenyon.

"We're shocked, you know. We're just in disbelief about all this. It's hard to understand this. It's tough for us, you know," he said, his voice breaking. "It's a roller coaster."

RYAN and ELSA WILK

Ryan and Elsa Wilk planned to move from British Columbia to their new home in a Salt Lake City suburb.

They were killed in Monday's crash.

Ryan Wilk, 39, was a cybersecurity expert who had been featured in a number of articles, including in the New York Times.

He was a vice president for the Canadian firm NuData Security, a division of MasterCard.

Friends and colleagues remember Wilk as an intelligent, witty man who cherished good beer and long conversations.

"I can tell you my brother was an amazing man, son, husband, brother and uncle. We are completely devastated," his sister, Shannon Wilk, told Salt Lake City television station KSL.

"Ryan was a very kind man with a fun personality. I loved how much we laughed together," Daniela Veliz Llaguno, Wilk's first wife, told The Associated Press.

His free time was spent camping, watching college football and listening to the Grateful Dead, she added.

Friends remembered Elsa Wilk, 37, as a kind, dedicated friend looking forward to the next stage of her life.

Mark Pashley, who knew Elsa through their taekwondo practice, said Wilk was a fierce competitor in the studio and a social butterfly who loved to joke with friends in her free time.

Wilk had worked as a marketing director for different tech companies in Vancouver and held a black belt in taekwondo. She traveled around the world to compete in the sport.

Pashley said the couple hoped to start a family together in Salt Lake City.

"Everyone knew them as a wonderful couple, they were totally in love," he added.

Shannon Wilk told KSL that another victim, Louis Botha of San Diego, was Elsa Wilk's brother. Attempts by The Associated Press to reach the Botha family were not immediately successful.

CASSANDRA WEBB

Cassandra Webb, 62, liked to be called Cassie and was looking forward to retirement, getting a little travel time in ahead of that by taking trips with friends who have already ended their careers.

The Alaska trip was one she was really looking forward to, said Kevin Epperson, her boss and a co-worker in St. Louis for 30 years.

Webb and her friends spent three days in Vancouver, British Columbia, and then planned to be on the Royal Princess cruise in Alaska for seven days before ending the trip with a seven-day rail trip across Canada.

"Cassie was just an absolutely amazing person," Epperson said. "I mean, she was, you know, just a hoot to be around, she was a lot of fun. She always had a positive outlook on everything, had a heart of gold."

Epperson said he was in shock when he got the news. "The last thing you expect when somebody goes on a vacation, that they're going to perish," he said.

He will feel her absence every day at his insurance firm where she was the office manager.

"It's a loss that she's not going to be sitting across from me anymore. I'm not going to get to see her and talk to her every day," he said. "She was like a second mom to me."

Among her survivors are two sons, Dustin and Caleb.

___

Smith reported from Salt Lake City. Associated Press journalists Mark Thiessen in Anchorage and Michelle A. Monroe in Phoenix, and Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Profiles of victims from deadly Alaska mid-air collision
A newly married couple, a pilot who used family savings to buy his plane, a family man from Australia and a vivacious office manager at an insurance company were among the six victims in a deadly mid-air collision of two sightseeing planes in Alaska
8:06PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Trump issues order apparently aimed at China's Huawei
President Donald Trump is issuing an executive order to protect the U.S. against foreign adversaries that are taking advantage of technological vulnerabilities
8:04PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Trump to launch new immigration overhaul push
Trump set to lay out yet another immigration plan as he tries to convince the American public and lawmakers that the legal immigration system should be overhauled
7:48PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump's Iran moves trigger warnings, demands from Congress
Lawmakers from both parties in Congress are demanding more information on the White House's claims of rising threats in the Middle East, warning President Donald Trump off a dangerous escalation with Iran
7:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
US abstains from global pledge to curb online violence
Facebook, Google, Twitter and other tech companies have joined a dozen countries in a global pledge to step up efforts to keep internet platforms from being used to spread hate, organize extremist groups and broadcast attacks
7:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
Illinois governor promises fixes to child welfare agency
Gov. J.B. Pritzker promises to adopt 'every recommendation' of study that finds major lapses in child welfare system
7:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Happy 130th birthday, Eiffel Tower: Laser show for Iron Lady
Paris is wishing the Eiffel Tower a happy birthday with an elaborate laser show retracing the monument's 130-year history
6:03PM ( 2 hours ago )
'Time for us to live for him': Slain student remembered
Nearly 2,000 people turned out for a memorial service for a Colorado high school student who was killed while charging and helping disarm a gunman who opened fire in the school
5:55PM ( 2 hours ago )
Alabama vote moves abortion to the center of 2020 campaign
Alabama's vote to restrict abortion in almost all circumstances has moved one of the most polarizing issues in American politics to the center of the 2020 presidential campaign
5:07PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
WNBA hires Deloitte CEO Engelbert as commissioner
WNBA hires Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert as commissioner
7:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
Falco, Perrette, Chuck Lorre sitcom set for new CBS season
"The Big Bang Theory" finale has yet to air and CBS is already back in business with its creator
6:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
Self-driving vehicle pulled over by curious police officer
A self-driving shuttle got pulled over by police on its first day carrying passengers on a new Rhode Island route
6:29PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
The Latest: UAE diplomat says coalition will retaliate
Top UAE diplomat says the coalition will "retaliate hard" over attacks on civilian targets after Yemen rebels' drone attack on a Saudi pipeline
1:44PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Emirati diplomat: UAE committed to de-escalation
A top Emirati diplomat says the UAE is "very committed to de-escalation" after the alleged sabotage of oil tankers
1:34PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Oman: Regional efforts should bolster security
Oman says regional and international efforts should be aimed at avoiding jeopardizing the security of the region after four oil tankers were subjected to alleged acts of sabotage earlier this week
12:54PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Washington to offer first 'public option' insurance in US
Washington is set to become the first state in the nation to offer a universally available public health insurance option
11:52AM ( 3 days ago )
Michigan on verge of showdown over high car insurance rates
Michigan is on the verge of a political showdown over long-running efforts to cut car insurance rates by reining in generous medical benefits
10:12AM ( 4 days ago )
2 Chinese men indicted for hacking Anthem
The Justice Department says a grand jury has indicted two Chinese men for hacking into the computers of health insurer Anthem Inc. and three other, unnamed companies
9:41PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
Trump issues order apparently aimed at China's Huawei
President Donald Trump is issuing an executive order to protect the U.S. against foreign adversaries that are taking advantage of technological vulnerabilities
8:04PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Trump to launch new immigration overhaul push
Trump set to lay out yet another immigration plan as he tries to convince the American public and lawmakers that the legal immigration system should be overhauled
7:48PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Alaska floatplanes collided at 3,300 feet before crashing
Two sightseeing planes that crashed in southeast Alaska collided at about the 3,300-foot level
7:40PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Officials: PG&E equipment sparked deadly California wildfire
California fire officials say Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. power lines sparked a Northern California blaze that killed 85 people, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century
7:38PM ( 47 minutes ago )
8 days after cyberattack, Baltimore's network still hobbled
More than a week after a cyberattack hobbled the Baltimore government's computer network, city officials say they can provide no real timeline for when its system will be up and running
7:35PM ( 50 minutes ago )