Plane Crash Victim ‘Dedicated His Life to His Community’

Extraction of single-engine plan from the roof of a Methuen condominium building.

The family of former Newburyport Mayor Alan P. Lavender, who died in Tuesday’s Methuen small plane crash, praised the man for his service to the community.

Lavender, 73, died when his single-engine, propeller airplane crashed into the roof of a building about 1 p.m., Tuesday, at Prides Crossing Condominiums, 1 Riverview Blvd.

“Al dedicated his life to his community. Al and his wife Betty have been active for years as board members with the Newburyport Public Library. A lifelong student, Al believed strongly in the value of education,” a statement said.

“On behalf of our entire family, we wish to express our deepest gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received from our friends and neighbors in Newburyport since the tragic loss of our beloved Al on Tuesday…We also wish to thank Mayor Donna Holaday and the Newburyport Police Department for their assistance as we come together as a family to celebrate Al’s life.”

He served as Newburyport mayor between 2002 and 2003 and served three terms on the City Council.

Lavender was flying alone and there were no other injuries, according to Massachusetts State Police. The condominium is just across the Merrimack River from Lawrence Airport.

Property damage was limited to the attic and top floor of building seven. Methuen firefighters quickly extinguished a small fire that erupted after the crash. fire and confined most of the damage to the attic and top floor of the complex, officials said.

An investigation is continuing.

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