Oct 06

Common Council remembers Warsaw plane crash victim, fellow council member – WSBT


Investigators are starting to piece together evidence to figure out why a plane headed from Warsaw to South Carolina crashed.

Charlie and Scott Smith, Scott Bibler, and Tony Elliott were on board the single-engine plane on their way to the Notre Dame-Clemson game when the plane went down. All four died in the crash.

Investigators are using sonar technology to search a lake near the crash scene, but because of the weather and rough terrain it’s taking investigators awhile to document all the plane parts.

Investigators have said there is no evidence of fire when the plane crashed and no evidence of an in-flight mechanical malfunction.

The pilot, 77-year-old Charlie Smith, was a member of the Warsaw Common Council. The council met tonight for the first time since the crash and it was an emotional meeting for everyone there.

Before the start of the meeting, council members were hugging each other and talking to audience members about the emotions that would come with saying goodbye to Charlie Smith.

One-by-one, each common council member expressed their emotions regarding their former councilman. Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer says they considered postponing the meeting, but Charlie would have wanted something different.

“I told Mark earlier today, Charlie would have wanted to go on,” said Mayor Thallemer. “He would have wanted us to go on and do our business.”

Two white roses were placed in front of Smith’s seat. The Mayor says it all seems unreal.

“It’s not going to be the same,” Thallemer. “You’ll see an empty chair here tonight and that’s something that nobody anticipated even last Friday when we had the Board of Works right here in this room. Didn’t think we’d be standing here talking about this today.”

While some cried, other council members told funny stories of their time with Charlie.

Councilman Michael Klondaris says through the jokes you could see the painful emotions many were feeling.

“I would say it was an emotional meeting,” said Klondaris. “This has really rocked the foundation of Warsaw to its core I think.”

If Charlie was still here today, Klondaris says he would say thank you.

“He did a lot for the city. He’ll be missed,” he said. “No one is going to fill his shoes but we’re all going to have to step up and collectively try to fill his shoes.”

Charlie and Scott Smith’s visitation will occur at the same time next Monday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The funeral services will be next Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Warsaw Community Church.

Visitation for Scott Bibler is 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Tippecanoe Valley High School Gym. His funeral is 2 p.m. Sunday at the school.

Services have not been finalized for Tony Elliott.

Oct 06

Indonesian Rescuers Recover Bodies From Aviastar Plane Wreckage

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Oct 06

Former Marine From SoCal Identified in Afghanistan Plane Crash

A former U.S. Marine from Southern California was among the 11 people who died Friday in a plane crash in Afghanistan.

The Marine was identified Monday as 29-year-old Chris Ruiz, a resident of Menifee. Ruiz served 10 years in the Marines. He also worked for a private contractor dealing with armory.

Ruiz was among six U.S. airmen and five civilians who were killed shortly after the aircraft departed Jalalabad Airfield.

Lorelyn Ruiz, Chris Ruiz’ wife, spoke to NBC4 less than one week after she discovered her husband was killed. Lorelyn said Ruiz sent her a text message right before the plane took off. She never received a text message after that, she said.

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“Words can’t express how much I miss him and I wish I just had five more minutes,” Lorelyn said.

It’s unknown what caused the plane to crash.

Ruiz left behind his wife and three children, all under five years old.

“I know that he would just tell me, ‘you gotta keep going for both of us,”’ Lorelyn said.

A GofundMe account was set up to help support his family at https://de.gofund.me/ChrisRuiz .


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