Two managing directors from investment bank Greenhill & Co., Inc. were killed on Tuesday when the small plane they were in crashed in New Jersey. Ice on the wings was cited as a possible cause for the plane to come down.
According to a report in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Jeffrey F. Buckalew and Rakesh Chawla, and Buckalew's wife Corinne and two children, as well as the Buckalew family dog, were killed when the single-engine plane in which they were flying came down on Interstate 287 in northern New Jersey.
Buckalew, who owned the plane, was piloting as the group took off from Teeterboro Airport on its way to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport near Atlanta on what was described as a business trip, according to a Bloomberg report.
Buckalew was an experienced pilot, rated for instruments. NBC News reported that the tower warned Buckalew about icing on other planes in the area shortly after takeoff. Witnesses said the plane appeared to break up in the air before it crashed on the busy highway, strewing wreckage for a half mile.
In a statement, Robert Greenhill, chairman, and Scott Bok, CEO of Greenhill, said, “The firm is in deep mourning over the tragic and untimely death of two of its esteemed colleagues and members of Jeff’s family. Jeff was one of the first employees of Greenhill. He and Rakesh were extraordinary professionals who were highly respected by colleagues and clients alike.”
Buckalew led Greenhill’s North American advisory activities, and according to the company, started at the firm in 1996, the year it was founded. Previously he had worked at Salomon Brothers. He was 45.
Chawla was a managing director for the financial services sector, and joined Greenhill in 2003 from Blackstone Group. He was 36, married, with three children.