Family Of 4, Real Estate Exec Among Victims Of Texas Plane Crash

The hangar that the twin-engine plane crashed into on Sunday, June 30. (NTSB)

ADDISON, TX — A family of four, a real estate executive and members of a tennis club were among the 10 people killed in a plane crash at Addison Municipal Airport on Sunday. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office identified all 10 victims of the fiery plane crash on Tuesday.

Officials identified the victims as Brian Mark Ellard, 52, Stephen Lee Thelen, 58, Matthew Palmer, 28, Alice Maritato, 15 and Dylan Maritato, 13. According to a statement from the Bishop of The Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Ellard was the stepfather of the two children killed in the crash. The Diocese said the children’s mother, identified as 45-year-old Ornella Ellard, was also killed in the crash.

"As a community, we are saddened at the tragic loss of all who perished in the plane crash at Addison Airport and offer special prayers for their families," Bishop Edward Burns said on Twitter. "Please join me in praying God will bring strength, grace and peace to their family members and all those who loved them."

Ellard was the co-owner of a Dallas restaurant, "Mille Lire," along with his brother-in-law Giuliano Matarese, according to Culture Map Dallas.

A statement posted to the Mille Lire website mourned the death of Ellard and his family.


"We are incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of our co-owner Brian Ellard and family, Ornella, Alice and Dylan," the statement said. "Mille Lire was built around the tradition of our family, and as you can imagine, this sudden loss has affected us all. Our doors are still open and we are thankful for the support of our community. We continue to ask for thoughts and prayers for everyone involved."

According to WFAA, Ellard was previously the President and CEO of National Teachers Associates Life Insurance company. He was also a sculptor and his work is on display at this restaurant, according to WFAA.

Ellard’s wife, Ornella, was an architect and interior designer who was originally from Italy, WFFA reported.

According to WFAA, Stephen Thellen’s wife, Gina Thellen, was also killed in the crash. Stephen Thellen was the managing editor of JLL Commercial Real Estate, according to D Magazine. Gina Cunningham Thellen, 57, was positively identified as a victim of the plane crash on Tuesday.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that took place yesterday," JLL said in a statement to D Magazine. "Our deepest and most heartfelt sympathies go out to Steve and Gina’s family and friends during this difficult time. Steve was a valued friend and colleague to all of us, personally and professionally. They will both be deeply missed."

Two other victims of the crash were identified as Mary Titus, 60 and John Titus, 61. Finally, the medical examiner’s office identified 71-year-old Howard Hale Cassady as one of the crash victims.

The Tennis Competitors of Dallas said five of the ten victims were members of the club.

"We are heartbroken to learn of the deaths of ten people in an accident at Addison Airport on Sunday including five of our own TCD members," the group said in a statement posted to Facebook. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their families as they mourn.

"Gina Thelen, Ornella & Brian Ellard, and Mary & John Titus were all vital members of TCD and we as a community are grieving this loss along with their families, friends, the Bent Tree community, and their tennis teammates. May we all find the strength and peace we need to endure this tragedy."

The twin-engine Beechcraft BE-350 King Air that went down on Sunday crashed into a hangar shortly after taking off and was destroyed by fire, officials said.

Addison is located about 15 miles north of Dallas.

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