Former MN man dies after crashing plane into buildings in Alaska


A former Minnesota man died on Tuesday when the plane he was piloting clipped buildings and crashed in downtown Anchorage, Alaska.

Doug Demarest, 42, crashed to the ground after hitting two buildings, the Associated Press reports, one of which housed the offices of Minneapolis-based Dorsey & Whitney, where his wife worked.

A family spokesperson told the AP on Friday they believe Demarest crashed to take his own life.

According to the Star Tribune, Demarest formerly had a photography studio in the Twin Cities, while his wife Katherine graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2010 and clerked for former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Magnuson in 2009-10.

He was a a licensed pilot and volunteer for the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the U.S Air Force, but was not authorized to fly the plane he crashed.

The FBI is investigating and has declined to say whether there was any link between the crash and the plane hitting the building where his wife works as an associate lawyer.

"Based on the very limited facts we have, we believe it was a personal tragedy and a tragedy for this family," Bryn Vaaler, of Dorsey & Whitney’s Minneapolis office, told Alaska Dispatch News.

"She is a valued employee and is obviously involved in a personal tragedy, so that’s all I can tell you," he added.

The newspaper said the Cessna 172's wing clipped the law office building before crashing into a second building, where it started a fire and fell to the ground.

Nobody else was injured in the incident.

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