Reporting J.D. Miles
SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – Students returning to Southlake Carroll High School and Carroll Middle School will wear maroon on their first day back in class since a plane crash killed two of their classmates. Paul Ledet was a high school junior. His younger brother, Mason, was an eighth grader. The two were big Aggies fans. Counselors will also be available at both schools to meet with students.
Friends of a Southlake pilot, Len Ledet, said that he was trying to stop for fuel when his plane crashed Saturday in rural Van Zandt County, killing himself, his two sons and his brother.
Meanwhile, it was an emotional day at the dental clinic operated by crash victims Len Ledet and brother Gregory. The clinic’s staff is devastated. Workers said that they not only lost a dentist who they loved, but also their business manager and two teenagers who they’d watched grow up.
While the office doors were open at the Southlake dental office, employees functioned with heavy hearts. Office manager Gigi Ball said, “All I can say is anybody who knew Dr. Ledet was blessed to have them touch their lives.”
The single-engine plane crashed while the Ledet family took a family trip to Mississippi for the Texas A&M football game.
While investigators search through the plane wreckage, Ledet’s wife and two daughters remain secluded in the family’s Southlake home. To help provide for the family, area dentists have volunteered to staff Ledet’s office. Ball said that Dr. Ledet would have wanted the business to continue. “This is going to survive him. That is what he wanted. He wanted this for his children, for his daughters.”
Thinking of the boys, Ball remembered their younger years. “We helped them off the school bus when they were little. It’s just a loss, a great loss,” she said tearfully.
Friends of Dr. Ledet described him as a trusted pilot. They said that he planned to land the Beechwood Bonanza in Athens for refueling, but began looking for a closer runway when bad weather moved in. The father and two sons, who friends said were inseparable in life, died together. “We’ll miss them dearly,” Ball said. “The only thing again is [sic] holds us all together is our faith and knowing he’s in a better place. They all are.”
A CBS 11 News crew was told that Dr. Ledet gave up a lucrative private dental practice to operate an office devoted solely to elderly patients. Now, his staff said that they are determined to continue his mission.
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