ATA chairman-elect McCormick dies in plane crash

| 10/27/2006

Clarence James "Mac" McCormick, vice chairman and chairman-elect of the American Trucking Association and founder of Bestway Express of Vincennes, IN, died Thursday, Oct. 26, when his single-engine plane crashed near Lawrenceville, IL.

According to local media reports, McCormick's plane went off the radar Thursday night at approximately 10:30 p.m. about two miles north of the Mid-American Air Center in Lawrenceville. Officials believe windy, drizzly conditions may have caused the plane to clip the tops of some trees on its final decent. They believe it caught fire and then crashed into a wooded area.

The plane's smoldering wreckage was not found by air crews until approximately 8:30 a.m. Friday morning, because of severely limited visibility, the Vincennes Sun-Commercial reported.

An ATA official confirmed for Land Line Magazine that McCormick was to attend to the organization's four-day Management Conference and Exhibition this weekend in Dallas, where he was to assume the role as the group's new chairman of the board.

McCormick, a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in business administration, started Bestway Express in 1981 with four trucks. Today, the company has a fleet of about 400 trucks. In addition to his work with ATA's political action committee, he also served as a member of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

A spokesperson for Bestway Express declined to comment on the crash.

This is the second death of a high-ranking ATA official this year. In June, Michael B. Russell, vice president of public affairs, was killed in a rafting accident while vacationing with his family in Colorado.