DETROIT (AP) — One of the four victims in a Detroit-area small plane crash was a firefighter and father of three who was always learning the latest about his profession and willing to share that with others, his department chief said Saturday.
Northfield Township Public Safety and Fire Chief William Wagner said that Jamie Jose, 34, had only been with the Washtenaw County department for about 18 months but had become an integral member of the squad.
Jose died Friday after the single-engine Cessna 172 crashed just after taking off from Oakland County International Airport in Waterford Township. He was the brother-in-law of pilot Troy Brothers, 19. The others who died were Brothers' stepfather, 58-year-old James Haley, and Brothers' mother, Sandra Haley, 53. Brothers and the Haleys lived in the Detroit suburb of Fraser.
Radio transmissions between Brothers and the control tower indicated the plane was too heavy. Federal officials were investigating.
Friends and relatives say the family had been celebrating Brothers' pending departure to the U.S. Naval Academy, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press reported. He dreamed of flying for the military and received his pilot's license about a month ago.
"I was so proud of him. He was supposed to leave any day now," Brothers' aunt, Debbie Prinz, told The News. "He was such a good kid, this is just unbelievable."
Wagner told The Associated Press that Jose relished his role as a role as a firefighter and paramedic. He also would hire himself out to ships as an onboard medic for several weeks at a time, Wagner said. He previously worked for about a dozen years with the Franklin-Bingham Fire Department in Oakland County.
"He just loved to serve people," Wagner said. "He's the type of person who would do the job for free. ... You'd give him a job and you would never have to worry about him."
A memorial fund for Jose's family is being created at PNC Bank in Whitmore Lake.