SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - One of the four passengers killed when their small plane crashed in Virginia was a retired Florida fire captain, fire officials said.
Theodore Bradshaw was a 33-year veteran of the department. He retired in 2005 after rising to the rank and serving as assistant fire chief, Sunrise Fire-Rescue said in a statement.
"This news comes as a great shock and as a tremendous loss to the Sunrise Fire-Rescue Department. Bradshaw was one of the original 10 paid firefighters as the City transitioned from the Sunrise Golf Village to the City of Sunrise in 1972," the department statement said.
Virginia State police said the victims included Bradshaw, 61, a pilot with more than 30 years of flying experience. The other victims were his 48-year-old wife, Mary Anne Bradshaw, and Charles Rodd, 64; and Diane Rodd, 58, both of Palm Beach, Fla.
There was no phone number listed for Bradshaw. A phone message was left Sunday by The Associated Press for a number listed for Charles Rodd.
"Bradshaw was known for his spirited personality, intense mentorship and his dedication to serve the community he called home for more than 40 years," the fire department said in its statement. "He was instrumental in bringing new technology to the fire service long before it became accepted industry wide including the use of the first closed cab fire engines to ensure firefighter safety."
Flags were issued to be lowered to half-staff Saturday in honor of Bradshaw.
Meanwhile, in a remote section of Virginia's Great Dismal Swamp, authorities continue to work Sunday to remove the bodies.
State police said the twin-propeller Cessna 340 left Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on Thursday morning with a scheduled arrival four hours later at Hampton Roads Executive Airport. The Norfolk air traffic control tower's last radar contact was shortly after noon Thursday over the swamp.
"We want to express our sincere appreciation to Hampton Roads Helicopters for their critical assistance with this search mission," said state police Lt. Curtis Hardison of the Chesapeake division. "They not only supplied us with the necessary aerial support we needed to expedite this search operation, but provided two hours of flight time free of charge. Their generosity also helped bring closure to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic crash."
The state medical examiner and federal investigators have been notified, and the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
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