Home / National News / CEO and His Family Among 6 Missing After Plane Disappears over Lake Erie


(CLEVELAND) — A CEO, his wife and two sons, and two others are missing after a plane disappeared over Lake Erie near Cleveland, Ohio, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Cessna Citation 525 vanished after departing from Burke Lakefront Airport on Thursday night and was headed to Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, the Coast Guard said. ABC affiliate WEWS-TV reports the plane went missing 2 miles north of downtown Cleveland after airport officials said the group attended a Cavaliers game.

No plane wreckage was found as of Friday morning and the Coast Guard announced Friday night it would suspend search and rescue efforts.

“The decision to suspend a search is never easy,” said Capt. Michael Mullen, chief of response for the Coast Guard 9th District, said in a statement.  “I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who lost loved ones during this tragedy.”

Superior Beverage Group confirmed Friday that CEO John Fleming and his family and two close friends were on board the plane. The company’s executive vice president, Joseph McHenry, said in a statement:

“We have learned that our valued colleague and leader John T. Fleming, President and Chief Executive Officer of Superior Beverage Group, his wife Sue, sons Jack and Andrew, and two close friends were involved in an aircraft accident near Cleveland Thursday night. While search and rescue operations are under way, we are focusing our efforts on supporting the families involved. We are working closely with the proper authorities conducting the investigation. We appreciate the efforts of the first responders on the scene.

“As we all await the results of the search and rescue efforts, our hearts are with John, his wife, their sons, and close friends on board, as well as with their loved ones and everyone in the Superior Beverage family.

“This is a difficult day for us, and we appreciate the concern and thoughtfulness extended by so many.”

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Fleming’s father John Fleming said the CEO piloted the plane and it was registered to his son.

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