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Friday morning plane crash claims the life of local businessman Wayne Estopinal

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Wayne Estopinal of Jeffersonville’s The Estopinal Group was one of three passengers including a pilot presumed dead following a Friday morning plane crash just outside of Sellersburg. Estopinal was the founder of Louisville City FC soccer club, and a well-known local businessman and philanthropist.

Sellersburg, Ind. – Wayne Estopinal, founder of Jeffersonville’s The Estopinal Group architecture firm, was one of the passengers presumed dead following a Friday morning plane crash just outside of Sellersburg, Indiana.

Indiana State Police First Sgt. Nagle said at least three people were killed in the corporate jet crash. The jet was a Cessna Citation C525. The plane left Clark County Regional Airport at 11:24 a.m. before crashing in a wooded area in the 2600 block of Crone Road – it was first reported at 11:28 a.m. to dispatch on Friday morning. The FAA and NTSB are now in control of the crash scene and investigation.

Estopinal was also the founder of Louisville City FC soccer club, and a renowned local businessman and philanthropist. Estopinal, a pilot, and one other passenger who are as of press time unidentified, were headed to the Chicago area for an event when their plane crashed in a wooded area between Sellersburg and Memphis.

Louisville FC President Brad Estes released a statement early today following the news of Estopinal’s passing:

“We at LouCity are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of club founder Wayne Estopinal. We would not be the club that we are today without his innovation, leadership, and hard work. His contributions to the community are something for which we are incredibly grateful.”

The Estopinal Group also has offices in Louisville and Louisiana and specializes in healthcare construction. A passionate soccer fan, Estopinal also had a hand in designing the University of Louisville’s Lynn Stadium. He also helped spearhead efforts to build a new soccer stadium in Louisville’s Butchertown neighborhood.

Wayne Estopinal also served as a Ball State University trustee, and was a 1979 graduate of Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning.

“He was an exceptional leader and passionate supporter of the University.” Ball State Officials stated in a release on Friday afternoon.

In the Louisville area, Estopinal was also active with the Louisville Sports Commission Board of Directors; Louisville Zoo Foundation Board of Directors; and Lincoln Heritage Council Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors. Wayne was also the owner of the Louisville Lightning professional soccer team of the PASL, minority owner and Board of Directors member for the Orlando City Soccer Club of the USL, and Owner and Managing Partner of Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club in Louisville.

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Estopinal was also the architect behind Jeffersonville’s unique Big Four Station Park.

Mayor Mike Moore of Jeffersonville had worked closely with Wayne Estopinal and his team on a number of projects during his time in office, and expressed his sadness upon hearing the news of his colleague’s passing, stating,

“Wayne was huge supporter of Jeffersonville, his hometown. While Wayne’s creativity was felt well beyond Jeffersonville, his desire and tenacity to make our city better is what we will remember him for the most.  Whether it was his restoration of City Hall at the historic Quartermaster Depot, the award-winning design of Big Four Station or his recent champion of a new downtown elementary school, Wayne’s impact will never be forgotten.”

“We should never forget that Wayne cared deeply about giving back to his hometown,” Moore continued.  He never lost sight of his roots.  He loved Jeffersonville, and because of that, we are better off.”

Estopinal was 63 years old.

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