The victims of fiery plane crash in Milwaukee were identified Thursday as a top executive at a Boston capital investment firm and his teenage daughter who were traveling to the Midwest for a college visit.
Joseph Trustey, a former Army captain, and his 18-year-old daughter, Anna, died when their small single-engine plane crashed and erupted in flames Wednesday evening at Timmerman Airport, according to Summit Partners, where Trustey was an executive.
Witnesses reported being unable to help because of flames and smoke. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, and there was no immediate word on what caused the crash.
Trustey, of Wenham, Massachusetts, had a chemical engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame, where he served on an advisory council, and an MBA from Harvard University, according to his online company profile. He was on the board of several nonprofits and previously worked as a consultant with Bain & Co., where he worked under former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
“He was a wonderful husband and father who also cared deeply for those with whom he worked, both inside and outside the firm,” Summit chief investment officer Martin Mannion said. “We cannot express how much we will miss his presence in our lives.”
Romney released a statement saying Trustey was a good, loyal friend “of uncommon intellect and capacity.”
Trustey’s daughter was preparing for her senior year in high school at the Brooks School in North Andover, according to the private school’s spokesman, Dan Callahan. He said her father was on the school’s board of trustees.
“People here are obviously pretty shaken up,” Callahan said. The head of her high school, John Packard, added: “Anna was beloved by all who were fortunate enough to know her. She was good to the core.”
Residents living near the airport reported the crash around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Quentin Smith told Milwaukee television station WISN that his first instinct was to try to help when he got through the airport fence but was driven back by the fire. Another witness, Ken Gipp, said the plane was flying extremely low when its right wing hit the ground.
“All you saw was big flames and black smoke everywhere,” witness Melissa Kaylor told the station.
Summit Partners said Trustey joined the firm in 1992, and most recently served as managing director and chief operating officer.
Marquette University, where Joseph and Anna Trustey were scheduled to visit Thursday, issued the following statement:
“Our hearts go out to the Trustey family during this time of overwhelming tragedy. Anna Trustey and her father, Joseph, had plans to visit Marquette University today. We are so sorry for the family’s loss and our thoughts and prayers are with them. Given that the family has requested privacy during this extremely difficult time, we will respect this and do not have further information to share.”
Shore Country Day School in Beverly, Massachusetts, also issued a statement Thursday saying that it is “reeling” at the news of the deaths of Joseph Trustey, a former board president, and Anna Trustey, who graduated from the school in 2013.
Head of School Larry Griffin said in an email to the school community that their deaths are “a shocking and profound loss for our school and the region,” especially given that Joseph Trustey’s son had died this past fall.
A candlelight vigil is planned at the school at 7 p.m. on Thursday.