Florida veterinarian and wife killed in North Carolina plane crash

Florida veterinarian and wife killed in North Carolina plane crash

A respected Florida veterinarian and his wife were killed over the weekend when their small plane crashed as it approached a North Carolina airport, authorities said.

Dr. Harvey Partridge — the founder of Partridge Animal Hospital in St. Petersburg — and Patricia Partridge, both 72, of Terra Ceia, were on board a Piper PA-32 Sunday evening when it went down near the Reedy Creek multi-use trail in William B. Umstead State Park, near Raleigh-Durham International Airport, airport officials said in a statement.

No one else was on board the plane when it vanished from the radar around 7:25 p.m.

The aircraft was located on Monday morning, authorities said.

The Partridge Animal Hospital posted a tribute to its founder on Monday.

“Dr. Partridge was a truly wonderful doctor and advocate for animals, and he and his wife will be terribly missed by our staff and clients,” the hospital wrote in a statement posted to Facebook. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and we appreciate your understanding during this difficult time.”

The plane belonged to Dr. Partridge, and he was an experienced pilot, the clinic said.

The doctor, who said he wanted to be a veterinarian since he was 6 years old, opened the animal hospital in October of 1978, according to his online biography. He was raised in Mount Dora, managed a ranch in Ocala, studied

at the University of Florida’s College of Agriculture and then received his doctorate from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1974, according to his bio on the clinic’s website.

Sgt. Christopher Turbee, who supervises the St. Petersburg Police Department’s K-9 unit, recalled the time Partridge performed emergency surgery on a police dog named Danno, who suffered from a twisted stomach while on the job.

“In the middle of the night, he came in and performed emergency surgery on him,” Turbee told The Tampa Bay Times.

The doctor would have celebrated his 73rd birthday on Oct. 26, the Times reported.

“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the Partridges,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, said in the statement. “I want to thank our mutual aid partners for their collaborative effort throughout this difficult event.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident, the statement said.

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