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Head of Phoenix-Based Stern Produce Co. and Family Killed in Plane Crash

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a single-engine plane crash that claimed the lives of a prominent Arizona family last weekend.

According to ABC15 in Phoenix, William Stern, 65, head of Stern Produce Co., the Phoenix-based food supplier, his wife Jennifer, 53, and daughter, Katelyn, 19, were flying back from San Diego on Saturday, December 29, when their single-engine Lancair IV-P, which William Stern was piloting, crashed in the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve, north of Santee, California.

All three members of the Stern family on board the aircraft perished.

Not on the plane was his son, William Stern III, who will take over his father's role as president of the nearly 100-year-old company with warehouses in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff as well Stern Meat Co. in Phoenix.

ABC15 in Phoenix goes on to say that friends of William Stern say he was an experienced pilot and that Ian Gregor, public affairs manager for the Federal Aviation Administration, says the crash happened under unknown circumstances.

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