- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
A private plane owned by a Utah-based bank crashed in flames about 10 miles south of Paris on Saturday, killing all three men aboard.
The Piper PA-46 had taken off about 8 a.m. from Cox Field Airport in Paris, bound for Austin, but about 10 miles south of Paris attempted to turn back toward the airport before descending rapidly and crashing near County Road 13850 and the community of Glory.
An FAA spokesman said the plane burst into flames on impact.
The victims were identified as Michael Endo, 51, of Salt Lake City; Michael Dale Bradley, 44, of Salt Lake City; and the pilot, Rob Thompson, 49, of Saratoga Springs, Utah.
All three worked for Utah-based Celtic Bank.
According to a press release issued by the bank on Saturday, Bradley was a real estate broker and the owner of MBA Realty and was working with Celtic on the sale of some property in Texas. Endo was the bank’s senior vice president and a commercial loan officer. Thompson was a professional pilot contracted by Celtic to fly the company’s plane.“This is a challenging and difficult time for the entire Celtic Bank family,” Celtic chief executive officer Reese Howell Jr. said in a statement. “We are sad and focused exclusively on providing love and support for the families and friends of those lost in the crash.”
Cox Field manager Jerry Richey said the plane flew into Paris on Friday.
There was no immediate information on the purpose of the trip to Paris, but City of Paris finance director Gene Anderson, in a November report to the Paris City Council, said Celtic Bank foreclosed on Aug. 7, 2012, on the four-story, 71-room La Quinta Inn & Suites on 2.3 acres at 3205 NE Loop 286.
“The bank was notified of the hotel occupancy tax delinquency, and they paid $45,859.05 in October for all back taxes, penalties and interest,” Anderson told the council.
In an update for the upcoming council meeting on Monday night, Anderson reported that as of Dec. 19, La Quinta was delinquent for part of the third quarter of 2012.
“They have been contacted, and the hotel management company that is operating the hotel is discussing this issue with the bank that repossessed the hotel. This is a new delinquency and not connected to the previous amount owed and paid,” Anderson said.
The hotel opened in December 2007 after two years of construction. On May 2, 2011, Paris Texas Lodging LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At the time, the company owed back taxes of about $112,000 to the City of Paris, Lamar County, Paris Junior College and the Paris Independent School District and about $2,300 in business and personal penalties.
Thompson, the pilot, was described as a former carpenter who had been a pilot and flight instructor for at least 20 years.
His sister, Marianne Watson, told the Salt Lake Tribune on Saturday he was an active person who enjoyed the martial arts and other forms of fitness. She said he left Utah for Texas on Friday.
She said his wife, children and other family members are devastated by his loss.
“He was a very likable person. He made friends wherever he went,” she said.
by CHARLES RICHARDS – eParis Extra!