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A retired police captain and an insurance executive were among the seven killed when a vintage World War II bomber crashed near Hartford on Wednesday.
"It is with deep sadness that I inform the Vernon Police Department, past and present, of the untimely death of retired Captain Gary Mazzone," Vernon police Chief James Kenny said in a statement.
Mazzone, 66, had been on the job in Vernon between Aug. 2, 1976, and Sept. 23, 1998. After retiring from the Vernon police force, he worked as an inspector with the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice, before retiring in January this year, according to Kenny.
Mazzone had been volunteering with Special Olympics Connecticut for years, the department said.
"He will be missed by his family, friends and coworkers," Kenny said. "Please keep Captain Mazzone and his family in your thoughts and prayers."
Both the pilot and the co-pilot, Ernest McCauley, 75, and Michael Foster, 71, died when the B-17 made an emergency landing and exploded into flames at the Bradley International Airport, according to a list of victims from the Connecticut State Police.
Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that the pilots spoke to the control tower about five minutes after takeoff to report an engine issue. The World War II-era bomber crashed just three minutes later.
The plane had an airworthiness inspection in January but the agency has yet to analyze the report. Homendy said that the NTSB will examine the engine as well as multiple other factors in its investigation.
David Broderick, 56, James Roberts, 48, and Robert Rubner, 64, were also among those killed.
Debra Riddell said her husband, Robert, 59, an insurance analyst from the town of East Granby, Connecticut, was among those killed.
"It’s been a long and tragic day. Words cannot express how devastated I am," she wrote on Facebook. "At this point, all survivors have been identified. Rob was not one of them."
Debra Riddell called her late husband the "best person I’ve ever known."
"He was my soulmate. I will miss him beyond words can ever express," she said. "He loved his children more than anyone could know and the new grandson was the apple of his eye. He embraced my daughter and grandchildren and loved them as his own."