Buckalew family killed in plane crash
Two St. Anne's-Belfield School students have died along with their parents in the crash of a private plane along a busy highway in New Jersey. Jackson, a fifth-grade boy, and Meriwether, a first-grade girl, perished along with their mother, Corinne, and their father, Jeffrey F. Buckalew, who led an arm of a leading mergers and acquisitions firm.
The Buckalews had divided their time between Manhattan and Eagle Hill, a sprawling estate in Free Union.
According to news accounts, the crash took place shortly after 10am Tuesday, December 20, over horrified drivers on Interstate 287. Witnesses reportedly described a single-engine turboprop plane that seemed to weave erratically before breaking apart and crashing into a wooded median.
Also killed in the crash was one of Mr. Buckalew's colleagues at New York-based Greenhill & Co., Rakesh Chawla, a University of Virginia alumnus. An onboard dog also reportedly died in the crash.
“The firm is in deep mourning over the tragic and untimely death of two of its esteemed colleagues and members of Jeff’s family," reads a statement from Greenhill, which notes that pilot Buckalew, one of its first employees, had a passion for flying.
Mr. Buckalew is believed to have been operating the single-engine plane, which reported mid-air icing and which appeared to have suffered catastrophic component failure before impact.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Mr. Buckalew served on that university's Board of Visitors while Mrs. Buckalew, the former Corinne Stickley of Greensboro, served on the board of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Having recently made their home in Albemarle, the two joined the Monticello Cabinet, a group of high-level donors to the third president's home.
Note: An earlier version of this story used the term "mechanical failure" which gives a causal impression, so the more reserved statement about "catastrophic component failure" was substituted to more accurately convey the body of preliminary information.Read more on: jeff buckalew