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Father, twin sons die in airplane crash

A former Buffalo-area man and his twin sons were among five people who died Sunday when their plane crashed near Pine Mountain in central Georgia.

Mark J. McCarthy, 45, and his sons Mike and Chris, both 15, of McDonough, Ga., southeast of Atlanta, were returning from the Orange Beach Red Snapper World Championship fishing contest on the Gulf Coast. Each of the boys won $1,000 prizes.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that no distress calls were received from the five-seater Beech 58, a twin-engine craft, although witnesses reported they heard the plane sputtering. The cause of the crash has not been determined.

McCarthy, who was born in Buffalo, grew up in West Seneca. He and his family were parishioners at Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.

A 1979 graduate of Bishop Timon High School, he was a defenseman on the hockey team. At Clarkson University, where he earned a degree in business, he played with the junior varsity hockey team until he was sidelined by a knee injury.

After college, he moved to Tampa, Fla., where he worked as a supervisor for a construction company. There, he met his wife, the former Cindi Price, who was working in the company's bookkeeping department. They moved to Henry County, Ga., outside Atlanta, in 1988.

In Georgia, he was general superintendent of all local construction projects for REL Properties, a residential developer.

Especially devoted to activities with his sons, he was a baseball coach for many years for the McDonough Youth Association and in recent years had become an avid deep-sea fisherman.

"He was really passionate about fishing," his brother-in-law, Patrick Bean of West Seneca said. "This was not the first time he and the boys had flown down to Orange Beach."

In addition to his wife, he is survived by another son, Ben, 18; a brother, Joseph; and three sisters, Cynthia Marinides, Megan Bean and Caitlin Lafferty.

e-mail: danderson@buffnews.com

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