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Former Alberta premier Jim Prentice killed in BC plane crash

WATCH ABOVE: Global's special coverage following the death of former Alberta premier Jim Prentice in a plane crash Thursday night.

Four people have been killed in a plane crash near Kelowna B.C., including former Alberta premier Jim Prentice.

WATCH: Fri, Oct 14: Tributes and condolences continue after what has become a dark day in Alberta’s history. Four people killed in a plane crash including former Premier Jim Prentice. Jill Croteau reports on the search for answers.
Former Premier Jim Prentice and 3 other men die in plane crash
Former Premier Jim Prentice and 3 other men die in plane crash

OBITUARY: Jim Prentice, 60, dies in Kelowna plane crash

Calgary optometrist Dr. Ken Gellatly was one of the other three people killed in the plane crash. Gellatly is the father-in-law of Cassia Prentice, Jim’s daughter. His colleagues at Downtown Vision Care said Prentice, Gellatly and friends went to Kelowna for the day, golfed 36 holes and were on their way home when the plane crashed.

WATCH: Former Alberta premier and federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice has passed away. Vassy Kapelos looks back at Prentice’s legacy and life  
Plane crash near Kelowna kills former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice
Plane crash near Kelowna kills former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice

READ MORE: Jim Prentice’s friends Dr. Ken Gellatly, Sheldon Reid, also killed in BC plane crash

Obtained by Global News
Obtained by Global News Obtained by Global News

“To lose two family members at once is unbelievably painful and we are certain you will appreciate and respect our wishes for privacy at this time and the coming weeks,” said the Prentice family in a statement.

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“We are also thinking of the other families who have been affected by this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

WATCH: Fri, Oct 14: : A book of condolence for public signing will be set up at McDougall Centre on Monday. Sources tell Global News discussions underway for a state funeral on Sat Oct 22 at Calgary’s Jubilee Auditorium but details still being worked out.
Plans underway for Prentice state funeral and public condolence.
Plans underway for Prentice state funeral and public condolence.

READ MORE: Condolences pour in following former Alberta premier Jim Prentice’s death

Global News has learned retired businessman Sheldon Reid was another victim in the plane crash. Reid, in his early 60s, worked as an investor in North America’s capital markets. He leaves behind a son.

Prentice, 60, leaves behind his wife, Karen, and three daughters.

VIDEO GALLERY: Ongoing coverage following the death of Jim Prentice

Bill Yearwood with the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) said the Cessna Citation jet departed Kelowna International Airport Thursday night.

It disappeared off radar at 8,600 feet at 10:07 p.m.

The wreckage was found a few hours later northeast of Lake Country, north of Kelowna.

“Our police officers and police dog reached the crash scene shortly after midnight, but unfortunately they were not able to locate any survivors,” Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, spokesperson for the RCMP in Southeast District said in a release.

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“There was catastrophic damage at the crash site.”

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Watch below: Ted Chernecki reports on the plane crash in BC

The cause of the small plane crash that killed Jim Prentice still unclear
The cause of the small plane crash that killed Jim Prentice still unclear

Residents who live in the area said they heard what they thought was the sound of a plane flying low, followed by a loud noise.

“Several resources were immediately dispatched to the jet’s last known location,” Moskaluk said.

“RCMP investigators located the crash site approximately four kilometres into a heavily wooded area north of Beaver Lake Road, east of Lake Country.”
The flight was destined for Calgary’s Springbank airport.

Late Friday afternoon, Norjet – the registered owner of the plane that crashed – issued a release.

“Norjet lost friends in the tragic crash near Kelowna and we are struggling to cope with that loss,” the statement read in part. “We are shocked and grief-stricken.

“Our deepest condolences go out to their families, and our thoughts are with them at this time.”

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Watch below: Lauren Pullen reports on the plane crash in BC

Former Alberta premier Jim Prentice killed in plane crash near Kelowna
Former Alberta premier Jim Prentice killed in plane crash near Kelowna

Prentice served as Albert’s 16th premier after winning the Progressive Conservative party leadership in September 2014.

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However, his tenure was short lived after a resounding loss in the provincial election in May 2015, when the Conservatives lost to the NDP, ending 44 years of consecutive Tory governments

Prentice resigned as party leader and his seat as an MLA on the election night.

The crash site from above. Credit: Chris Randolph'
The crash site from above. Credit: Chris Randolph'
The crash site from above. Credit: Chris Randolph'
The crash site from above. Credit: Chris Randolph' Chris Randolph
The crash site from above. Credit: Chris Randolph'
The crash site from above. Credit: Chris Randolph'
Credit: Global Okanagan
Credit: Global Okanagan
Credit: Global Okanagan
Credit: Global Okanagan Global News

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she has spoken with Prentice’s wife, Karen, and expressed her sorrow and sympathy.

“There are no words adequate for moments like this, as my family knows very well,” Notley said in a statement. Notley’s father, Grant Notley, was killed in a plane crash on his way home from Edmonton on a snowy night in October 1984.

“He deeply loved Alberta. He worked tirelessly for all of us, in the true spirit of one who is committed to public service. I benefited from his advice, and the government of Alberta is continuing to pursue many of his initiatives. All Albertans are the better for this.”

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WATCH BELOW: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ‘shocked and saddened’ by the news of Jim Prentice’s death
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ‘shocked and saddened’ by the news of Jim Prentice’s death
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ‘shocked and saddened’ by the news of Jim Prentice’s death

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his shock and sadness over Prentice’s death and said he greatly enjoyed his interactions with him.

“Jim was a man who brought his deep convictions to everything he turned his hand to, whether it was law, business or politics,” Trudeau said Friday afternoon.

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“At each step of his career, Jim was a strong voice for the people of Alberta and for the people of Canada. He was highly-respected and well-liked in the House of Commons across all party lines because he brought an intelligent, honest and straightforward approach to everything he did.”

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WINFIELD BC PLANE CRASH

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose held back tears as she spoke with reporters on the passing of her “good friend Jim.”

“JP and I are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend Jim. Our heart goes out to Karen, the girls and his two beautiful grandchildren,” Ambrose said. “All of us in the Conservative family are ‎devastated today. It is a huge loss to the country. He was a well-respected political leader and a business leader ‎but we know he was most proud to be a father and grandfather.

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“Jim was a leader in our movement, a valued colleague in Cabinet, and a close and cherished friend of so many, not just in our party, but right across the political spectrum.”

Watch below: Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose remembers her ‘good friend Jim’

Fighting back tears, Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose remembers her ‘good friend Jim’
Fighting back tears, Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose remembers her ‘good friend Jim’

Following a career in politics, Prentice joined the Washington-based Canada Institute at the Wilson Center as a visiting fellow. He was also working on a book.

Last June, he took a position as an energy advisor to Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm.

“We are deeply saddened to learn that our colleague and friend Jim Prentice was involved in a fatal plane crash on Thursday evening,” the company said in a statement. “He was an invaluable member of our firm and more broadly, a widely respected leader in the energy, financial services and political communities. We send our sincerest condolences to Jim’s family during this difficult time.”

Watch below: Global’s Tom Vernon reflects on the political life and career of former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, confirmed to have been killed in a plane crash in BC Thursday night.

Reflecting on the life and career of Jim Prentice
Reflecting on the life and career of Jim Prentice

B.C. Premier Christy Clark said in a statement “Like many Canadians, I was shocked to hear the news about Jim Prentice.

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“This is a terrible loss for our country. It’s a rare privilege to meet people of Jim’s character in any walk of life. He was a man of his word, would keep confidences, and his handshake was worth more than any written agreement.”

“Simply by being himself, Jim Prentice elevated political discourse in this country with his dignity, kindness, and focus. Jim devoted his life to making Canada better – and he succeeded.”

“Jim had a remarkable and distinguished career, but I think he took the most pride in being a husband, father, and grandfather. My thoughts are with Jim’s family.”

The TSB says it is sending a team to investigate. RCMP is on scene, also waiting for the BC Coroners Service.

Watch below: Former Deputy Premier of Alberta Thomas Lukaszuk speaks with Global News about the political legacy of Jim Prentice.

Thomas Lukaszuk on political legacy of Jim Prentice
Thomas Lukaszuk on political legacy of Jim Prentice

With files from Global’s Jayme Doll, Erika Tucker, Caley Ramsay, Andrew Russell and Phil Heidenreich.