Canadian politician Jean Lapierre and 6 others die in crash flying to funeral

(CNN)Former Canadian Parliamentarian Jean Lapierre and several members of his family were among seven killed in a plane crash Tuesday off the coast of eastern Quebec, according to a law enforcement official.

The political commentator, his two brothers and a sister were on their way to the funeral of Lapierre’s father in Iles-De-La-Madeleine when the plane went down, the official said. Lapierre’s wife, Nicole Beaulieu, also was on board, CNN news partner CBC News reported.
    The identities of the two other deceased are not yet known.
    Lapierre, 59, had tweeted on Monday that his father had died from Parkinson’s disease.
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter: “Shaken by the sudden death of the Hon. Jean Lapierre on the les-de-la-Madeleine. A great loss to the political world.”
    Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard tweeted a message in French to Lapierre’s Twitter account: “You were loved and admired. Thank you for all you gave us.”
    The plane crashed in a field while approaching the island’s regional airport around 11:40 a.m. local time, killing a total of seven people, according to Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau of the Quebec Provincial Police.
    One victim suffered a heart attack and died on the way to a hospital, CNN news partner CTV reported.
    At the time of the crash, there was snow, cross winds and freezing rain conditions, Thibaudeau said.
    “Flight conditions were not ideal at that time, and what role that played is yet to be determined,” Thibaudeau told CNN.
    Transportation Safety Board of Canada spokesman Chris Krepski told CTV it’s “too early to say” if weather played a role in the crash.
    Quebec Police and the transport safety board sent investigators the crash site, according to Thibaudeau.
    The plane, an American-registered 1982 Mitsubishi MU-2B-60, reportedly belonged to a private company, according to CBC and CTV.
    The plane left Saint-Hubert airport on the south shore of Montreal earlier Tuesday morning, Thibaudeau said.
    Diane Vigneault told CBC News that she saw the plane go down near her home.
    “I heard the sound of a plane flying low, low, low,” she said. “I said to myself, ‘That plane is so low.’ I cried, I didn’t know what else to do. I saw people running.”
    Lapierre originally served in the House of Commons from 1979 to 1993 and later served in the Bloc Quebecois caucus, CTV reported.
    His political career was followed by a stint as a political analyst and commentator, according to the Canadian Parliament website.
    Lapierre also served in the House of Commons as a Liberal Parliament member from 2004 to 2007, according to the site.

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