MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The four people killed in a business jet crash in Atlanta included a prominent businessman and three co-workers, a Tennessee airport said Friday.
The dead included Wei Chen, founder and CEO of Memphis-based Sunshine Enterprise Inc., Millington Airport tweeted on its official Twitter account. The other three were identified as John Chen, Bruce Pelynio and Danielle Robinson.
All four were with the same company, and three were top-level executives, said Mike McAnnally, president of a company subsidiary, speaking with The Commercial Appeal .
The Cessna 560 jet bound for Memphis crashed Thursday in Atlanta, where the flight began. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
Wei Chen owned Sunshine Enterprise, which wholesales and distributes Chinese construction and industrial equipment in North America. The company’s website said he founded the company in 1998 in Memphis. The company employs 400 people and has operations in Memphis, Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Atlanta.
Wei Chen flew around the world in a single-engine airplane in 2011. He wrote a book, “Around The World in 69 Days: What Would You Attempt To Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?” He was a University of Memphis graduate.
“The University of Memphis is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Wei Chen, a University of Memphis alum and supporter who served on several University boards including the Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors,” the school said in a news release. “This is a tremendous loss not only for the UofM but the entire City of Memphis. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this solemn time.”
Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com