Monday 11 December 2017

Slazenger heir dies following plane crash

A retired anaesthetist whose family founded the Slazenger sports brand died today after a plane crash in which another man was also killed, gardai said.

Dr Michael Slazenger was left fighting for his life in hospital after his light aircraft overturned and crashed at a private airstrip in the grounds of his Powerscourt Estate in Co Wicklow on Saturday afternoon.

The doctor's companion in the plane, 66-year-old Noel Whitney, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The two-seater single-engine aircraft got into difficulties as it was attempting to land at around 3pm.

Shocked golfers on the large estate in Enniskerry looked on as the plane's wing struck a tree before the aircraft flipped over, crashed and burst into flames at the end of the airstrip.

Dr Slazenger was rushed to Tallaght Hospital in Dublin and later transferred to the burns unit of St James' Hospital.

Mr Whitney's body was taken to Loughlinstown Hospital in south Dublin, where a post-mortem examination will be carried out tomorrow.

An inquiry by the Department of Transport's Air Accident Investigation Unit is also under way.

The Powerscourt estate, famous for its castle and landscaped gardens, has been owned by the Slazenger family since 1961.

In 1974 a fire destroyed the main part of the house, but it reopened after extensive renovations in 1996 and is now a popular visitor attraction.

Press Association

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