LIBBY, Mont. — The CEO of an Arizona-based bridge manufacturing company
and one of his employees were killed in a plane crash as they flew to
northwestern Montana for a company Christmas party.
Stinger Welding Inc. CEO Carl Douglas, of Coolidge, Ariz., and John Smith, also
of Coolidge, died in the crash late Tuesday or early Wednesday near Libby,
Sheriff Roby Bowe said in a statement.
The men left Coolidge at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday with Douglas piloting the
twin-engine Beechcraft, Bowe said. They were to arrive just after midnight in
Libby, where Stinger has a bridge- and span-building operation. The men were
traveling to Libby for a company Christmas party on Friday, Stinger employees
told the Western News.
Colleagues reported the men missing shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday. A Montana
Aeronautics airplane was able to locate the plane’s emergency locator
transmitter signal near Swede Mountain, about three miles northeast of the Libby
airport. Search and rescue crews reached the site at about 8 p.m. Wednesday,
The sheriff’s office and county coroner were recovering the men’s remains, Bowe
Shannon Myslicki, who lives below Swede Mountain, said she saw lights in the
sky around midnight Tuesday.
“It was low,” she told newspaper. “We heard it once and then heard it
again later. It sounded like it was closer to Swede Mountain to the left, rather
than the airport.”
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.