Federal investigators are trying to figure out why a single-engine plane crashed in Blair Thursday evening, killing the pilot.
The victim was identified as 92-year-old Robert Vincent Herrick of Nickerson, Nebraska, 20 miles west of Blair. The Ercoupe, built in 1946, went down nose first after clipping some power lines around 5:15 p.m. on the property of Woodhouse Auto, a lot known as "Truck Mountain" near U.S. Highway 30 and Nebraska Highway 133. Several dealership pickups were damaged.
Family members said Friday flying was one of “Vince’s" passions. Herrick and wife Birdie Belle were married for 62 years when she passed away eight years ago. Herrick constructed a park in her memory and the town children play there. “He loved all the kids in town. So they are going to miss him.”
Family members said Herrick lost an eye in an accident years ago, but he would still fly his plane almost every day, weather permitting. “You know, the man was 92 years old, don’t argue with him,” said son-in-law Steve Fauss.
“We kind of think something happened to him,” said son-in-law Cecil Hocking. “Maybe we will never know.”
Herrick was a member of the Nickerson City Council.