As NTSB gets to work, mentor figure killed in plane crash remembered

MEMPHIS, Ind. (WDRB) -- At the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club, a Saturday night match of youth soccer felt different.

"I think it's still shock," said Scott Budnick, the Kentucky Fire Juniors boy's program director. "I'm still struggling to get my head around it."

Wayne Estopinal, one of the three who died in a Friday plane crash, made the complex possible with lots of money, love and energy.

"You knew you were in the presence of someone with a lot of influence and with a lot of passion," said Tim Nowak, the girl's program director.

"He wanted to share the game, most particularly, with the youth, because I think he wanted to share his love of the sport and the culture with the future players of tomorrow," added Budnick.

Both Nowak and Budnick worked for Estopinal and learned a lot from him.

"Wayne's made me a better coach. There's no doubt about," Nowak said. "He challenged me personally to be better at what I do."

Clark County's coroner has now officially identified 63-year-old Estopinal as one of the three who died in the crash, along with 54-year-old Sandra Johnson and 32-year-old Andrew Davis.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board now has boots on the ground to investigate the crash.

"Typically, what happen is the investigator will arrive on scene and will begin documenting the scene and examining the aircraft. They will be looking for the four parts of the aircraft: that's the nose, two wings, and the tail," said Keith Holloway, a spokesperson for the NTSB.

Holloway says the investigator will work to recover those bits and pieces quickly, especially evidence that's perishable, in an effort to determine a cause.

"Our goal is to determine what caused it and to prevent it ... possibly prevent it ... from happening again from a safety perspective," he said. "We don't assign blame."

He says no two crashes are the same. Investigators will determine if weather, human error, mechanical issues, or a combination played a part.

"I suspect the investigators should probably be on the scene for the next couple of days," he said.

Holloway wants anyone who witnessed the crash and has information about it to call authorities or e-mail the NTSB at witness@ntsb.gov.

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