Two who died in Mass. plane crash are mourned Nursing instructor and pilot, a lawyer, were on holiday trip

November 29, 1997|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Friends and colleagues are mourning the deaths of a Baltimore lawyer and a college nursing instructor in the Thanksgiving Day crash of a small plane near an airport on Cape Cod, Mass.

Sharon Dwyer, 44, a teacher, pediatrics nurse and nursing instructor at Villa Julie College since 1991, was pronounced dead at 10: 30 p.m. Thursday, about 12 hours after the accident, an official at Cape Cod Hospital said yesterday.

Killed instantly in the crash of the single-engine Beech Craft S-35 was Richard E. Dunne III, 47, of Stevenson. His daughters, Anna, 16, and Phoebe, 14, were treated and released from the hospital.

Dunne was a successful attorney and a longtime pilot.

Dwyer was remembered as a devoted friend who had been a kindergarten teacher at the Park School and a pediatrics nurse at Johns Hopkins and Sinai hospitals.

Dr. Robin Weiss, a Towson psychiatrist and longtime friend of Dwyer's, recalled a woman "so alive sparks flew off her. As a teacher, she developed a deep connection with children that never disappeared when they grew older."

Jody Johnson, a former next-door neighbor on Falls Road in Brooklandville, said, "Sharon was a genuinely loving person, a gem."

In October, Johnson's husband died, and "Sharon was with me every day, even though she has three children herself. She had this great sense of humor, and when we found out she was dead, it was like learning a star was gone from the sky," Johnson said.

Joseph Brusini, chairman of Villa Julie's science department, said Dwyer's sudden death was a shock.

"To everyone, she was very friendly, an instructor in tune with the students," he said.

Dunne, Dwyer and his daughters were making a holiday visit to Cape Cod, where Dunne recently built a second home. Dwyer's children, Lauren Whaley, 16, Mark Whaley, 14, and Anna Whaley, 12, had stayed home.

"He was one of my best friends. I absolutely loved the guy," said Frank Burch, a partner with Dunne in the Hogan & Hartson law firm.

"He was a wonderful guy and father. Rich and I skied all over the United States and Europe. He took up flying 10 years ago as a hobby and became masterful at it," he said.

"Clients liked him because he wasn't a stuffed shirt," said Jim Ulwick, a friend of Dunne's for 20 years.

"He loved his kids, flying and being a lawyer," he said.

Cape Cod police said yesterday that investigators were trying to determine why the plane plunged into a thickly wooded area about half a mile from Chatham Airport, its destination on the trip from Martin State Airport.

Friends said yesterday that Dunne had owned the plane for seven years and had logged more than 1,000 hours flying it.

Deputy Chief Wayne Love of the Cape Cod Police Department said investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board would start sifting through the wreckage today.

"We don't know for sure, but that plane was landing with winds blowing with gusts 30 to 60 miles per hour," Love said.

Pub Date: 11/29/97

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