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Small plane crash kills Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office pilot, second person

1 year 11 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, February 04 2021 Feb 4, 2021 February 04, 2021 5:36 AM February 04, 2021 in News
Source: Associated Press
Scene of plane crash near Hackberry in Cameron Parish February 3, 2021. Photo: KATC

HACKBERRY, La. — A man who was the pilot and attorney for a southwest Louisiana sheriff’s office and a second person were killed when their small plane crashed in a neighboring parish, apparently during a flying lesson.

Two bodies were removed from the plane that crashed Tuesday evening on a small island near Hackberry, Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson told news agencies. The plane then submerged, he told The American-Press.

On Wednesday, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso’s voice broke as he told reporters that one victim, Rock Palermo, was the department’s pilot, attorney and friend.

Johnson told KPLC-TV that the second occupant, Richard Don Clements, was believed to be a student of Palermo’s.

During a news conference livestreamed by the station, Mancuso said that when talking with Palermo’s wife, “I joked that Rock was only an attorney so he could have a hobby of being a policeman and a pilot. And he was good at all three of them.”

Dr. Kevin Dupke, the Cameron Parish coroner, said he was at the crash site Wednesday with federal investigators and could not confirm the second man’s name.

A Federal Aviation Administration crew out of Baton Rouge and a National Transportation Safety Board team out of Dallas are to investigate the crash, KPLC-TV reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted Wednesday that it was investigating the crash but would not travel to the site.

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