Colleagues mourning plane crash victims; survivor recovering in hospital
Tracy Shead and her family are staying close at her husband's side in hospital in Winnipeg.
Brian Shead, 36, is the lone survivor of Tuesday's plane crash in North Spirit Lake, Ont. He's currently recuperating at Health Sciences Centre.
"He's doing well and recovering every day and on behalf of the family, we are very grateful that he is alive," said Tracy Shead.
Her husband and four others were en route from Winnipeg to North Spirit Lake in Ontario in a Piper Navajo plane on Jan. 10.
It crashed on a lake near the First Nation's airport around 10 a.m.
Brian Shead works for Aboriginal Services Inc., a Winnipeg company that helps First Nations with administrative services.
The president of the business, Ben van Hoek, was among those killed in the crash.
First Nations leaders offered praise for van Hoek.
"He went as far away as Lac Brochet, which is the tip of northern Manitoba, where you rarely see the president of a company come out and help a First Nation," said MKO Grand Chief David Harper.
The other ASI employee killed in the crash was Colette Eisinger of Winnipeg.
The company released a statement Wednesday.
"The staff of Aboriginal Strategies is deeply feeling the loss of part of our family. Our president, Ben van Hoek, and accountant Colette Eisinger died in a tragic plane crash in the community of North Spirit Lake First Nation. We grieve together with their families and extend our deepest condolences," stated the company.
Tracy Shead said she is also grieving.
"Our hearts are still with the families involved in this tragedy and we just want them to know our thoughts are with them at this time," she said.
North Spirit Lake band worker Martha Campbell and the plane's pilot also died in the crash.
Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board arrived at the scene of the crash on Wednesday and will be working to determine what caused the plane to go down.
Investigators also want to speak with Brian Shead about what he saw prior to the crash. The plane had no black box recorder.
Hospital officials expect Shead will be ready to speak to investigators next week.
- with a report from CTV's Jeff Keele