CLARK COUNTY, IN (WAVE) – Wayne Estopinal, TEG Architects President, Jeffersonville native and the founder of Louisville City FC, was among those killed in a small plane crash in southern Indiana on Friday morning.
On Saturday evening, the Clark County Coroner’s Office released the identities of all three victims, including Estopinal, from Friday’s crash. The other two people killed were Andrew Davis, 32, of Sellersburg and Sandra Holland Johnson, 54, of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Johnson was the Vice President of Business Development for Estopinal’s firm, TEG Architects, according to the TEG website. She had worked there for more than two decades.
Davis, the plane’s pilot, leaves behind a wife and two small children. In October, he went to the Dominican Republic to help build homes for families in need.
Estopinal, Davis and Johnson perished when a plane crashed near Borden, Indiana, Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel said. It crashed in a heavily-wooded area in the 2300 block of Crone Road around 11:30 a.m., according to Indiana State Police.
The plane, a Cessna Citation CJ-2, was headed to Chicago.
The soccer club’s president, Brad Estes, issued a statement Friday afternoon:
“We at LouCity are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of club founder Wayne Estopinal. We would not be the club we are today without his innovation, leadership, and hard work, and his contributions to the community are something for which we are incredibly grateful. Our hearts are with Wayne’s family and loved ones at this time.”
A woman who lives near the crash site described what she heard.
“My first thought was that we are getting bombed because our whole house it just sounded like something dropped, and our whole house just shook," Breanna Beswick said. “We walked outside, and we didn’t see anything, and our neighbors didn’t see anything either. It’s just scary to think that there’s families out there who just lost somebody.”
Noel said the aircraft was small and designed to carry fewer than 10 passengers. It is believed the plane took off from Clark County Regional Airport and was headed to Chicago Midway Airport.
Louisville City FC team chairman John Neace also issued a statement Friday:
“Greater Louisville lost a great corporate citizen today. Wayne was very active in the soccer community and will be missed by us all. We mourn this inexpressible loss and today acknowledge his contribution to Louisville City FC and the entire Louisville soccer community.”
A statement by the Federal Aviation Administration indicated three people, including the pilot, were aboard the plane, which was a Cessna Citation C525 private jet. Other than Estopinal, neither of the other two people aboard the plane have been identified.
According to FlightAware.com, the tail number on the plane was N525EG. That aircraft is registered to Esto Air, LLC, a company managed by Estopinal. He also owned TEG Architecture firm, which has offices in Louisville and Jeffersonville.
No survivors have been located.
Statements from many community leaders have poured in since the news of Estopinal’s passing.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer wrote: “Wayne Estopinal was a strong, innovative business leader who showed tremendous vision by working to bring professional soccer to Louisville, and by helping it succeed. I’m deeply saddened to hear of his passing.”
Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore shared the following statement:
"We are extremely saddened to learn of the untimely death of Wayne Estopinal. This is a terrible tragedy for our city and community.
Wayne was a lifelong Jeffersonville resident and successful business owner. His firm, TEG Architects, was an international architecture firm located on Spring Street.
Wayne was huge supporter of Jeffersonville, his hometown. While Wayne’s creativity was felt well beyond Jeffersonville, his desire and tenacity to make our city better is what we will remember him for the most. Whether it was his restoration of City Hall at the historic Quartermaster Depot, the award-winning design of Big Four Station or his recent champion of a new downtown elementary school, Wayne’s impact will never be forgotten. We should never forget that Wayne cared deeply about giving back to his hometown. He never lost sight of his roots. He loved Jeffersonville, and because of that, we are better off.
Please keep the Estopinal family, his employees, and the other victims involved in this crash in your thoughts and prayers."
Estopinal served on Ball State University’s Board of Trustees. The board’s chair, Rick Hall, shared his condolences:
“It is with deep sadness that we inform you that R. Wayne Estopinal, a Ball State University Board of Trustee member and a 1979 graduate of our College of Architecture and Planning, has passed away in a plane crash today in southern Indiana. He was an exceptional leader and passionate supporter of the University. As we mourn this loss to our Ball State family, we ask that you keep Wayne’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.”
The President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc., Kent Oyler, shared the following statement:
“All in our community are saddened by the tragic loss of Wayne Estopinal. Wayne was a successful business leader, an engaged citizen, and a longtime member of the GLI family. We express our sincere condolences to the families and friends of Wayne and all of those lost in today’s crash.”
Louisville Metro Council President David James released the following statement on behalf of the council:
“On Thursday night, we honored LouCity FC for winning their second USL back to back championship. It’s a sad day. We on the Metro Council are saddened to hear about the death of Wayne Estopinal.
While he was a professional architect, we are fortunate that his love of sports and love of something new would bring Metro Louisville a vision. He joined with others to bring forth a vision that brought us LouCityFC. It was an idea that was something new, something exciting for a city on the move.
We want to extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends as they grieve his passing, a passing that came too soon in a very accomplished life. He will be missed.”
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation and Safety Board.