SEDONA, Ariz.- Legendary former Adams State and Olympic distance runner Pat Porter and two children, including his 15-year old son, died Thursday as a result of a tragic plane accident near the Sedona Airport.
The twin-engine plane, registered in Porter’s name, hit a boundary fence at the south end of the Sedona Airport runway according to eye-witnesses and then went down a steep mesa. The plane then burst into flames upon impact at the bottom of the hill, according to Ron Wheeler, the Field Operations Commander for the Sedona Police Department.
Porter, who was just inducted into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame on July 20 in Colorado Springs, was 53.
His son Connor was also killed. There were no survivors.
Porter, who lived in Albuquerque, N.M., was an avid pilot. He is survived wife of 20-plus years, Trish, who was a 1988 Olympian in the high jump, and 11-year old daughter Shannon.
Wheeler also indicated the FAA and National Travel Safety Board have been called in to investigate the accident.
Porter was inducted into the Adams State Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 2000. He competed in the 10,000-meter run at both the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and Seoul, South Korea, respectively.
Porter was named as the RMAC’s All-Time top cross country runner during the conference’s 2009 centennial celebration.
Post-collegiately, Porter won a record-setting eight USA Track & Field senior men’s cross country national championships.