Covering Louisiana

Oct 11, 2013 3:26 PM by Dwayne Fatherree, KATC TV-3

Family, friends of pilot killed in crash release statements

The family and friends of the man killed in a helicopter crash Wednesday are coming to grips with the loss of someone who was not only an active member of his community, but who they also remember as a loving father, husband and friend.

Patrick Becnel was the pilot of the helicopter that crashed Wednesday morning approximately 30 miles northeast of Venice. Three other people on board the helicopter were rescued and, at last report, two are still undergoing medical treatment for injuries.

"Patrick Raphael Becnel, Sr., 47-years-old, of Jesuit Bend, died tragically on Oct. 9," according to a statement the family released Friday. "He is survived by his beloved wife of 25 years and three children. He was a lifelong resident of Plaquemines Parish and his life touched the hearts and lives of many people. Patrick is deeply missed by many family and friends in the community."

According to the press release, the family appreciates the outpouring of sympathy and support, but has asked that their privacy be respected as they cope with their loss.

In another statement, Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Lonnie J. Greco, Sr. expressed the grief of Becnel's friends and co-workers.

"On behalf of the men and women of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office, we extend our
condolences to the family of Patrick Becnel," Gregco wrote. "His service to the Sheriff's Office for 8 years and his dedication to the community will be forever recognized.

"Patrick displayed commitment and pride in the parish with his successful orange business, as president of the Jefferson Parish Farm Bureau, and with his reign as 2008 Orange King," the statement continued. "Also, as a deacon at St. Patrick's Church, he was a model of great faith to his parishioners.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Becnel
family," Greco concluded. "The devotion displayed by Patrick will always be remembered."

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