Three People Killed In Plane Crash Near Paris - - No One Gets You Closer

Three People Killed In Plane Crash Near Paris


LAMAR COUNTY, TX -- Three men died after their plane went down near Paris shortly after takeoff, and now investigators are looking into the cause of the crash.

The plane crashed into a grassy field and caught fire less than 10 miles from the airport around 9 a.m. on Saturday. We spoke with the man who may have been the last person to see the victims alive.

A worker at the Paris airport says it was just on Friday when the plane out of Salt Lake City, Utah, landed here. "They were just coming in, overnighting, stay the night, and then leave out in the morning," says airport lineman Hunter Sanders.

Sanders says he gassed up the plane for the three men, who appeared to be in their 30's or 40's, who have been identified in a statement from Celtic Bank as Michael Bradley, Mike Endo, and pilot Rob Thompson.

"They came back this morning and asked me to fill them up so I went out there and filled them up, came back this morning and wrote them out a ticket," says Sanders. "They was worried about the weather and like a 600-foot overcast, and I just filled em up and they took on about their business."

The single-engine turboprop plane, a Piper Malibu Mirage, took off from the airport in conditions Sanders describes as foggy, but without rain. "They got in their plane, they left. About 10 minutes after they left, I get a phone call from the Fort Worth center saying they lost radar contact with this airplane."

The plane didn't make it very far from Cox Field, crashing several miles away in a field on County Road 13850 near Glory Baptist Church, where it burned upon impact. Heavy rain later on Saturday drenched the crash site.

"I called my boss and told him about it and he was out there working and he went out there and sure enough it was a plane crash," says Sanders.

The plane was registered to Celtic Bank, a commercial bank founded in 2001 in Salt Lake City. According to an online flight plan, the plane left salt lake city Friday morning, and was due to stop over in Guymon, Okla.

Sanders says he is stunned at what happened to the travelers he just met. "You know you just talk to someone and then 10 minutes later they die," says Sanders.

Celtic Bank released a statement confirming the men were associated with the bank. Investigators with NTSB will try to determine the cause of the crash.