Three men in a private plane, all working for a Utah bank, and all millionaires, crashed under mysterious circumstances shortly after takeoff in Texas on Saturday. All three died in the ensuing fire.
The Piper PA-46 had taken off around 8 am from near Paris, Texas where it went down. The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the deceased as Michael Endo, 50, Michael Dale Bradley, 44, and the pilot Rob Thompson, 49. All three men worked for Utah-based Celtic Bank, says FOX News.
CEO Reese Howell Jr. stated:
“This is a challenging and difficult time for the entire Celtic Bank family.”
The cause of the plane crash is as of yet unknown. The Public Safety Department said it was reportedly foggy and the plane attempted to return to the airport before descending rapidly and busting into flames upon impact.
It is not known if the pilot had radioed for assistance prior to the crash, according to NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway. NTSB investigators were collecting evidence from the crash site, as well as any witnesses and radar data to determine why the plane crashed, says the Daily Mail.
According to a bank press release, Bradley was a real estate broker working with Celtic on a property sale in Texas. Endo was the bank’s senior vice president and a commercial loan officer. Thompson was a Celtic contracted professional pilot hired to fly the company’s plane.
No further details are known as of yet, but the incident, whether caused by possible criminal sabotage or mere pilot error, is under investigation.