Bodies of Aspen man, three others recovered in Florida
December 8, 2008
ASPEN ” The body of Aspen resident Bryan Sax was recovered Monday in the Florida Everglades, days after the small plane he was aboard collided in the sky with another aircraft, officials said.
Sax, 37, was one of four aviators killed in the collision that occurred sometime after 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. His body was located about 3 miles southwest of Holiday Park, in an unincorporated area of western Broward County.
His wife, Christy; their daughter Zaya, 7; stepson Dante Lizotte, 13; and a daughter from a previous marriage, Hannah, 13, survive Sax. He also is survived by his father, Don Sax; his mother, Marcia, and his sister, Rachel.
The bodies of three other people also were recovered Monday during a search conducted by federal, state and local agencies. Those victims were identified as Edson Jefferson, 30; and Stuart Brown, 25, both of the south Florida area, according to a statement issued by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
The name of the fourth victim, a 21-year-old male, was not released. He was identified as the instructor of the twin-engine Piper PA-44 Seminole aircraft that Sax was aboard. Sax was listed as the student.
It was not clear who was piloting the aircraft at the time of the crash over the Everglades, which remains under investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board is heading the inquiry.
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Bridget Serchak, a spokeswoman for the transportation agency, said the airplanes were reported missing about 3 a.m. Sunday. The second aircraft, which carried Jefferson and Brown, was identified as a single-engine Cessna 172.
“The wreckage was located about five hours after being reported missing,” she said regarding the search, which was aided by emergency locator transmitters on both planes.
Once a U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue helicopter spotted the wreckage, a team of law enforcement and rescue personnel responded to the scene.
Serchak said that the investigation could take up to a year to complete. At the time of the crash, the planes were believed to be en route to a nearby training area. Both planes appeared to have taken off about the same time ” 3:30 p.m. on Saturday “but from different airports.
The Piper aircraft took off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, while the Cessna plane began its flight from North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines. The owner of the Piper was listed as the Airline Transport Professionals Corp. of USA in Delaware, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
The owner of the Cessna was listed as Christiansen Aviation Inc. in Delaware.