Robert Matthews, a commercial litigation partner in Faegre & Benson‘s Boulder office, died Saturday when a small plane he was piloting collided in midair with another plane some 8,000 feet over the Colorado city, according to the Daily Camera of Boulder.
The crash killed the 58-year-old Matthews, his 56-year-old brother Mark and the pilot of the other plane, which CNN reports was a single-seat Piper Pawnee towing a glider.
The collision caused the immediate disintegration of both planes, CNN reports, but the pilot of the glider the Pawnee was towing is being hailed as a hero for severing a tow line prior to the collision and safely maneuvering both of his passengers in the glider to the ground.
Tragically, none of the occupants of the planes themselves survived. The crash occurred less than five miles from Boulder’s airport as Matthews piloted his Cirrus SR20 plane at an altitude of 8,000 feet. The Piper was piloted by 25-year-old Howard Green from the Denver suburb of Evergreen.
The Denver Business Journal reports that Matthews was one of 21 lawyers working in Faegre’s Boulder office. He joined the firm in March 2002 when Minneapolis-based Faegre merged with Boulder’s Chrisman, Bynum & Johnson.
In a statement to the DBJ, the firm said, “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic death of our partner, Bob Matthews. Bob was an extraordinary talent and friend to all…We extend our deepest sympathy to Bob’s wife, Cindy, and to the Matthews children. We have no finer colleague than Bob Matthews. May he rest in peace.”
As of Tuesday morning, Matthews’ bio was still posted on Faegre’s Web site, in memoriam.
According to CNN, the crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration.
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