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Originally published March 20, 2010 at 6:58 PM | Page modified March 20, 2010 at 7:04 PM

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Bellevue man identified as pilot killed in Morton plane crash

The man who died in a plane crash near Morton, Lewis County, Friday evening was identified Saturday by his family as Bellevue resident Shane Sullivan.

Seattle Times staff reporter

The man who died in a plane crash near Morton, Lewis County, on Friday evening was identified Saturday by his family as Bellevue resident Shane Sullivan.

Sullivan, 39, was returning from a business trip to the Bay Area when the single-engine Cirrus SR22 he was piloting went down in the front yard of a house near Highway 508, southwest of Mount Rainier. An unidentified passenger, a woman, was injured and taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Heather Sullivan, 38, said her husband sent her a text message early Friday evening saying he would be home around 8 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. because of a strong headwind. He was supposed to come home and be with their two young daughters while she celebrated a friend's 40th birthday.

But that was the last she heard from him.

Shane Sullivan was president of Cascade Risk Placement, an insurance-brokerage firm based in Bellevue. He traveled frequently for his job, mostly up and down the West Coast, Heather Sullivan said.

He loved to fly planes, she said, and his pilot's license was up to date. He was also meticulous about keeping up his aircraft, which was given its annual inspection a month ago.

"He had a full overhaul of everything," she said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the crash. On Saturday, authorities documented the wreckage and the site where the plane went down, said Kristi Dunks, air-safety investigator with the NTSB.

Sunday, they plan to take the wreckage to a secure storage facility where "we'll be able to perform an examination" to determine how the crash happened, Dunks said.

Heather Sullivan said because of the investigation, her husband's body won't be released until Monday, "which has been very hard."

"He was just an amazing man," she said. "He was a great father and very committed to everything he did. He took my breath away every day."

Sonia Krishnan: 206-515-5546 or skrishnan@seattletimes.com

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