By Staff

CLEBURNE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — An U.S. Air Force Academy cadet was one of two people killed in a small plane crash near Cleburne on Thursday, a military official said.

Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said on Twitter that Nick Duran, a junior, died in the crash Thursday while home in Texas on leave.

“He was our brother — a friend, teammate, and classmate — and will always be a part of USAFA,” Clark said. “I am so proud of how our cadets have leaned on each other and honored Nick’s life.”

The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office said Duran, who was 20, died of blunt force injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the wreckage of the single-engine Grumman/American Aviation AA-1A with two people aboard was found Thursday near Cleburne after it had been declared missing.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said two people were confirmed dead. DPS said the plane was located just west of Cleburne Regional Airport.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident.

“While words cannot lessen the loss felt by his family, we want to send our heartfelt condolences to Nick’s family and friends — you are in our thoughts and prayers,” Clark said.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Staff