Former Olympian's wife devastated by plane crash

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Authorities and family members have confirmed that former Olympian Patrick Porter was on board a twin engine Beechcraft airplane that crashed at the Sedona airport Thursday morning.

Also on board, Porter’s 15-year-old son Connor, and Connor’s 14-year-old friend Connor Mantsch. The teenagers were classmates at the Albuquerque Academy.

Patrick Porter’s wife, Trish, and 11-year-old daughter, Shannon, spoke publicly Friday afternoon about the crash.

Trish was reduced to tears speaking about her son.

“He was a very special and unique young man. I’m honored God gave me the privilege to be his mom. My daughter Shannon, who is 11, and I will miss the other half of our family,” said Trish Porter.

Shannon Porter remembered the strong bond she had with her big brother.

“We adored each other. We told each other everything…secrets, jokes. We would pray together. We would help each other love Jesus with all of our hearts and I’m so glad he had such a great life. I’m so glad I spent every minute of it loving him instead of fighting, because you never know when God is going to take them from you,” said Shannon Porter.

Trish and Patrick Porter met at training camp for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.  Patrick was a runner and Trisha was a high-jumper. Their son Connor was an aspiring fencer.

Patrick Porter and the two teenage boys were leaving the Sedona airport at about 8:30 Thursday morning.  Eye witnesses said their plane, piloted by Patrick Porter, careened off the runway and down a hill, then exploded.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating the cause of the crash.