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Fathers of Bride, Groom Left Bachelor Party, Died

'The love and the support they showed their children will carry on'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2019 9:45 AM CDT
A plane similar to the one pilot Jim Wilk was reportedly flying.   (Raimond Spekking/CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – An upcoming wedding in Canada will be "bittersweet" after the fathers of the bride and groom died in a plane crash on their way home from the groom's bachelor party. Jim Wilk, the father of the groom, was piloting the plane en route to Moose Jaw, Sask., where the August wedding is to take place, when it crashed 20 minutes after its 10:15pm takeoff from Medicine Hat, Alta., on Saturday, per the CBC and CTV News. Wilk and two passengers—the bride's father, Kerry DePape, and a friend, 26-year-old Justin Filteau—were pronounced dead at the scene in Irvine, just 20 miles east of Medicine Hat. "The wedding is Aug. 10 and both fathers-in-law will not be there. It's the saddest situation," a friend of both Wilk and DePape tells the CBC. Of Wilk, he adds, "He was a very capable pilot ... Everything was about safety."

The president of the Moose Jaw Flying Club says Wilk flew a 1976 or '77 American Aviation AA-5B and knew it "inside out ... because it's essentially the only aircraft model that he ever flew." While investigators were at the scene Sunday and Monday, the Transportation Safety Board has yet to release details. As for Alyssa DePape and Justin Wilk's wedding, it will be held as planned at the Moose Jaw Armoury, per the CBC. "The love and the support they showed their children will carry on and it will make it a special day," DePape's wife, Cheryl, says of the deceased fathers. Filteau was a football coach and player formerly with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and Saskatoon Hilltops, which honored him in a Sunday tweet. "We'll miss his laugh, his goofy grin and ... most importantly, his heart," it reads. (Read more plane crash stories.)

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