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'He died doing what he loved,' father of man killed in Lantana plane crash says

Michael Marshall Jr. killed when small plane crashes at Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana
Posted at 11:19 PM, Mar 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-07 23:24:41-05

LANTANA, Fla. — The family of Michael Marshall Jr. is being remembered by his father as a selfless, loving son who had a passion for flying.

"He would relish in it, and he would share his happiness with all of his friends and family, and we knew how much he loved it," father Michael Marshall Sr. said. "There was never, ever a doubt."

Marshall Sr. said his 34-year-old son also loved life and had no problem with putting family and friends first.

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"He was the kind of guy that would put his own stuff to the side to go and help a friend in need," Marshall Sr. said. "And that, to me, is a true friend. And he was he was just a great kid, and we're going to miss him dearly."

Marshall Jr. was with his instructor, John Holland IV, when their plane crashed Sunday night at Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana, killing both men.

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Marshall Sr. said his son moved to Boca Raton from the Boston area to secure his pilot's license, which he received in 2010, and was working toward his commercial pilot's license.

Chopper 5 view of small plane crash at Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana, March 6, 2023
A view from Chopper 5 shows the wreckage from a small plane crash that killed two people at Palm Beach County Park Airport, March 6, 2023, in Lantana, Fla.

"He died doing what he loves, and not a lot of people can say that," Marshall Sr. said.

While investigators try to piece together the cause of the crash, Marshall Sr. told WPTV he's looking forward to offering his love and support to the Holland family.

"It's just one of those things that a tragedy is going to bring two families together, you know, to think about what wonderful people that they lost," he said.