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Darien man dies in helicopter crash

Updated 9:10 pm, Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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  • Tighe Sullivan, the husband of former Darien Selectman Callie Sullivan, was killed in a helicopter crash outside of Mount Pocono on Tuesday. Photo: Contributed

    Tighe Sullivan, the husband of former Darien Selectman Callie Sullivan, was killed in a helicopter crash outside of Mount Pocono on Tuesday.

    Photo: Contributed

 

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Friends and relatives are mourning the loss of Tighe Sullivan, 51, the husband of former Selectman Callie Sullivan, who was killed in a helicopter crash Tuesday night outside of Mount Pocono, Pa.

Sullivan is survived by his wife of 24 years, Callie, and his three children, Jessie, Lila, and Tiger.

Margo Davy, a friend, spoke on behalf of the Sullivan family Wednesday afternoon.

"Tighe was a friend to everyone. He was a man of great principle who valued the good things in life, particularly his family," Davy said.

John Fraser, Sullivan's business partner, remembered his friend of almost 30 years.

"Tighe had a true zest for life that encompassed his love for his family, his value for the friendships he made virtually wherever he went, and his loyalty to that family and those friends, which absolutely never wavered," Fraser said.

Fraser and Sullivan started their business careers together in July 1983.

"He was the kind of guy who, if he counted you as a friend, would do whatever he could whenever he needed to in order to help you out," Fraser said.

Sullivan was returning from a golf outing and heading toward the metro New York area, according to reports from the Pocono Record. Police said Sullivan was the front-seat passenger of the helicopter. The pilot, William Ellsworth, 52, of Califon, N.J., was also killed. The backseat passenger is in critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital, according to police.

Police received a call about a missing helicopter in the Mount Pocono area at around 10 p.m., but the initial search yielded no results. Police said they used GPS tracking technology from the U.S. Air Force via the County Control Center to determine a possible location of the aircraft.

The wreckage was found in a heavily wooded area about 300 feet from Interstate 380 near Mount Pocono, according to the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department.

Just before the crash, the helicopter dropped off a passenger in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., before it hit inclement weather in the Poconos area, according to police.

According to weather.com, Mount Pocono between 9 and 11 p.m. was foggy with a 6-mph wind. There had been light rain around 8 p.m. Visibility, however, had decreased from 10 miles earlier in the day to 0.3 miles as the fog came in at around 9 to 10 p.m.

Police said the aircraft was attempting to escape from the weather and land at Mount Pocono Airport, but crashed just 1 mile from Mount Pocono, a sparsely populated town of slightly more than 2,000 people, located at nearly 2,000-foot elevation in the mountains. The Pocono Mountains are geologically the eastern ridge of the Allegheny Plateau, which reaches to Ohio and West Virginia in the west and the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains in the east.

Sullivan was a co-founder, managing partner and chief operating officer of WCAS Fraser Sullivan Investment Management LLC, based in New York City and Darien, according to his profile on the company website.

Prior to that, he worked as a managing director in high yield at Deutcshe Bank from 2000 to 2005 and managing director and founding partner of the high yield group at First Union. He began in high yield at Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1989 and was vice president at Dillon, Read & Co. from 1991 to 1993. He was a senior vice president at PaineWebber in high yield sales from 1993 to 1995. Sullivan started his career at Chase Manhattan in 1983 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University.

Sullivan is survived by his wife of 24 years, Callie, and his three children, Jesse, Lila and Tiger.

The family will receive friends at the United Church of Rowayton, 210 Rowayton Ave., on Friday, Oct. 12, from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. Times are subject to change, so please visit unitedchurchofrowayton.org or call 203-866-1415.

A funeral service will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14, at United Church of Rowayton, followed by a reception at the Tokeneke Beach Club, 4 Butlers Island Road, Darien.