Details About N.C. Plane Crash Victims
The Associated Press
Jan. 09, 2003
Snapshots of those aboard US Airways Express Flight 5481, which crashed Wednesday at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, killing all 21 aboard:
_ ROBIN, CAITLIN AND NICHOLAS ALBURY lived in Marsh Harbor on the northern Bahamian island of Abaco. Robin, 38, and Nicholas, 21, were brothers, and Caitlin, 13, was Robin's daughter. The brothers worked at family-owned Abaco Hardware, and the three were traveling to an outdoor sporting convention. ``We have all been devastated,'' cousin Frank Albury said. ``The community has been turned upside down.'' Robin Albury was survived by a wife and a daughter, 10.
_ SREENIVASA REDDY BADAM, 24, and GANESHRAM SREENIVASAN, 23, both of India, were graduate students in computer science at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C. The two, who both enrolled in 2001, were part of a close-knit Indian community of about 400 students at the school, said Frankie Felder, a graduate school dean.
_ MARK CONGDON, of Baltimore, was a father of four. ``He was a very solid, very loving family man with lovely children, and our community is mourning his loss,'' said Patricia Schratz, principal of his children's school.
_ KEITH COYNER of Coral Springs, Fla., was married with three grown children. He was a vice president for product development for General Nutrition Companies and worked for about 20 years at the company's Pittsburgh headquarters. For the past two years, Coyner was based at GNC's sister company, Rexall Sundown in Boca Raton.
_ FORREST STEPHEN DeMARTINO, 48, lived in Sidney, Ohio, and was a group manager in the Dayton office of Woolpert LLP. DeMartino was on a business trip to Datastream Systems Inc. in Greenville, S.C. Friends said he was a skilled photographer who liked antiques.
_ SYLVAIN DUBOIS. The airline gave a listing of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but no address or family could be immediately found.
_ RICHARD E. FONTE, 29, of Jacksonville, N.C., was born in suburban Pittsburgh. He worked for the Cary, N.C., office of Computer Associates International, which said he was survived by his wife and two daughters.
_ GARY GEZZER, 42, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was director of risk management for Republic Services of Fort Lauderdale since February 1999. He was on a business trip to Greenville, S.C. He was married with three sons, and his oldest son's wife was expecting a baby.
_ JONATHAN GIBBS, 27, of Charlotte, N.C., was the first officer aboard the flight. He grew up in Ukiah, Calif., and obtained his pilot's license at 19. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1997 with degrees in Spanish and economics. He had been a commercial pilot for about two years, said his father, Skip Gibbs. He enjoyed biking, kayaking and snowshoeing.
_ STEVEN J. KRASSAS of Richmond, Va., worked as a consultant at Fannie Mae. Friends said the University of Maryland graduate helped revitalize a Richmond historic district. ``He was a little bit quiet and not someone who needed the spotlight, but he was always there when things needed to be done,'' friend Keith West said.
_ CAPT. KATIE LESLIE, 25, had been a commercial pilot for three years. She earned a professional aviation degree from Louisiana Tech University in 1999, then taught at the school for nine months. Her brother is a freshman in Louisiana Tech's aviation program.
_ RICHARD LYONS, 56, of Lynnfield, Mass., was a global health and safety manager for W.R. Grace in Cambridge, Mass., where he had worked for 34 years. He loved to cook and enjoyed the outdoors, going to the Caribbean every year to scuba dive with friends, his sister said. He was married and had a 23-year-old son from an earlier marriage.
_ IMA PEARSON embarked in Las Vegas, but her family asked that no other information be released, the airline said.
_ CHRISTIANA SHEPHERD, 18, of Boston was a freshman interior design major at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C. Shepherd was returning from Portugal, where she had visited her parents, who are missionaries.
_ JOSEPH M. SPIAK, 46, of Acton, Mass., was a general manager at W.R. Grace in Cambridge, Mass. He accepted travel as part of his job but didn't like being away from his wife and two children, said sister-in-law Barbara Langston. ``He was a hands-on father, right from the get-go,'' she said. The couple, married 17 years, ran a marathon a few years ago and were training for another, Langston said.
_ PAUL STIDHAM, 46, of Dayton, Md., was director of environment health and safety at the corporate headquarters of W.R. Grace in Columbia, Md. He joined the company last year from PQ Industries near Philadelphia, Grace spokesman William Corcoran said. Stidham was survived by his wife and two children.
_ MICHAEL OTTO SULLIVAN, 44, was vice president of sales for Cape Software and lived in Newtown Square in the Philadelphia area with his wife, Donna, and two little girls. The family had moved from Texas about a year ago, said neighbor Maria Southron, who called Sullivan a devoted father.
_ RALPH SYLVIA, 62, retired in 1998 to move back to his boyhood home of Ashland, Va., just north of Richmond. He had spent his career as a nuclear engineer and helped oversee the opening of two Dominion Virginia Power nuclear plants. Ashland ``is what he loved,'' said his son, Dan Robertson, who lived next door. ``These are his people.''