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Joshua Merrill Plane Crash

Joshua Merrill Dies in Plane Crash in Surprise

James R. Harrison

May 9, 2016

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Surprise, Arizona—Joshua Merrill, age 31, died when the single-engine Beechcraft he was piloting crash-landed in a greenbelt near a retirement community in Surprise.  Michael Fox, age 32, his passenger and friend, is hospitalized with serious injuries.

Mr. Merrill reportedly made heroic efforts to avoid hitting any people or cause property damage.  “He hit a tree and nothing else,” said one witness to the accident.  Merrill’s mother, Robin Merrill, remarked that even as the plane was going down, her son was thinking of saving others.

Aviation figured prominently in the Merrill family for three generations.  Joshua’s grandfather was a bush pilot in Alaska, followed by his father who flew for Southwest Airlines.  Joshua started flying while still a teenager and developed expert skills.

Accident investigators still do not know what caused the plane to go down.

We extend our condolences to Mr. Merrill’s family members and friends at this time of great loss for them.  We wish Mr. Fox a speedy and full recovery.

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