Plane crash victim once ran Kelowna heavy equipment school

  • Jun. 7, 2011 6:00 a.m.

He’d only been in the North Okanagan for a year, but Lee Sorken made quite an impression.

A project superintendent working for Salmon Arm-based Hoban Equipment Ltd. overseeing the Highway 97A projects near Armstrong, Sorken, 39, was killed in a plane crash Friday.

The wreckage, which also claimed the pilot, Sorken’s brother, Dean, 44, was discovered in a farmer’s field about 22 kilometres from Stettler, Alta.

The brothers had been flying to the Alberta community of Killem, the Sorkens’ hometown, for a family wedding, when the plane crashed.

The plane had taken off Friday from the Vernon Regional Airport after Dean had flown in from Langley to pick up Lee.

“He’d been here about a year and today is tough, it’s a bad day, everybody’s really shaken up,” said Clayton Hoban, owner of Hoban Equipment Ltd., Monday afternoon.

“Lee was very meticulous, very well organized, very strict but fair. Everybody really enjoyed working with him.”

Hoban said Lee had been working as a manager of a heavy equipment school in Kelowna when he started working for him. Both Lee and Dean were pilots. The Transportation Safety Board is conducting an investigation as to why the plane went down.

Roger Knox is a Black Press reporter.

Kelowna Capital News