METHUEN (CBS) – The pilot killed when he crashed into a Methuen condominium has been identified as the former city councilor and mayor of Newburyport.
Al Lavender was killed in a Tuesday afternoon crash on Riverview Blvd. in Methuen.
Lavender previously served as a Newburyport city councilor and was also mayor from 2000-2003.
“Everyone who knew him enjoyed working with him. He had a kind and gentle spirit. Very even-keeled, easy to smile, easy to laugh,” said current Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday.
Erford Fowler, a neighbor of Lavender’s who was also a former city councilor, said he had talked previously to Lavender about his passion for flying.
“I can’t believe it,” said Fowler. “He was outgoing, very friendly. He would take time to talk to anybody.”
Holaday said she was surprised to learn following the crash that Lavender was a pilot. Holaday added that Lavender was an avid boater in Newburyport.
Neighbor Denise Wallace remembered Lavender as a regular guy.
“Longtime neighbor. His children are grown, but he’s always out shoveling, raking, doing yard work with all the other neighbors coming by saying hello. My husband and he were just talking about this spring having a party,” Wallace said.
Lavender was attempting to land at Lawrence Municipal Airport Tuesday around 1:30 p.m. when he crashed into the roof of Pride’s Crossing Condo Complex.
“Our community has suffered a tremendous loss today and our thoughts and prayers are with the Lavender family,” Holaday said.