PLANO, Texas (CBS11) – The shock over a plane crash in Costa Rica has not faded for 15-year-old Ethan Fine of Plano and his family. “How shocked everyone is, how sad this is, how hard it is.”
Among the ten Americans killed on board New Year’s Eve, was Fine’s best friend, 16-year-old Ari Weiss, who he had spoken to just the day before. “We were talking about how nice it was to get away. We were planning on catching up today or tomorrow after he got back.”
Weiss was aboard the Cessna C-208B with his sister, 19-year-old Hannah, and his parents, Mitchell and Leslie Weiss, of Belleair, Florida, and the Steinbergs, a family of five from Scarsdale, New York, their tour guide, Amanda Geissler and a two member crew.
No word yet what caused the crash, but the NTSB is assisting Costa Rica in the investigation.
Now, Fine says all he can do is look at the pictures he took with Weiss and remember the good times they shared.
He described Weiss as, “Very, very musically talented. A very caring person, always put others before him.”
They met at a religious camp near Atlanta area seven summers ago, where they spent eight weeks with other youngsters without their parents.
Fine says they were really looking forward to this summer, when he and the other teens receive special honors. “One of them is leading services, that was always his dream, was to lead services in front of the whole camp, as his honor.”
Ethan’s dad, Eric, says through their sons, his family became close to the Weisses. “Very outgoing, immediately take you in as their own, very welcoming, very hospitable, and just a tremendous family. The camp really brought everyone together.”
Ethan says he and his friend went to each other’s Bar Mitzvahs, and hoped to attend each other’s weddings and other milestones. “We were talking a couple of weeks ago just about that we were going to be life-long friends. These bonds are like unbreakable.”
A bond that he says will remain unbreakable through his memories.
The Fines plan to attend a memorial for the Weiss family in St. Petersburg, Florida early next week.