Plane Crash

Addison Airport plane crash victims included Dallas restaurateur

Addison Airport plane crash victims included Dallas restaurateur

Brian and Ornella Ellard
Brian and Ornella Ellard. Brian was a co-owner of Mille Lire. Photo courtesy of Bent Tree/Facebook

UPDATE: As of July 2, all 10 passengers have now been identified.


The 10 people who were killed in a June 30 plane crash at Addison Airport have been identified, including a co-owner of Mille Lire, a restaurant located in the Centrum building in Dallas.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted the full list of two pilots and eight passengers, including a family of four, plus two couples.

According to NBC 5, John Paul II High School in Plano sent out a letter stating that Alice and Dylan Maritato were killed, along with their mother and stepfather, Ornella and Brian Ellard.

Alice, 15, attended the high school and was going into her sophomore year. Dylan was a 13-year-old student at All Saints Catholic School in Dallas, where he would have been in the eighth grade.

Their mother, Ornella, was a business owner, architect, and interior designer. Brian co-owned Mille Lire with his brother-in-law Giuliano Matarese, a native of Naples, Italy, who has appeared on cooking shows Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay, and who worked at Charlie Palmer's Aureole restaurant in New York.

Mille Lire's general manager Robert Bissell released a statement that said, "We are incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of our co-owner Brian Ellard and family Ornella, Alice, and Dylan. Mille Lire was built around the tradition of our family, and as you can imagine, this sudden loss has affected us all. Our doors are still open, and we are thankful for the support of our community. We continue to ask for thoughts and prayers for everyone involved."

The Catholic Schools Office - Diocese of Dallas called it a difficult time, stating, "Please join us in praying for two members of our Dallas Catholic school family and their families who lost their lives in Sunday morning's plane crash at Addison Airport. We pray and hope for them, for the family & friends they leave behind, and for our All Saints Catholic School and John Paul II High School communities during this difficult time."

A Plano couple also died: Steve Thelen, 58, and his wife, Gina Thelen, 57. Steve Thelen was managing director at real estate company JLL, which notified its staff of their deaths.

BisNow did a profile in 2014, lauding Steve Thelen for his real estate prowess, including "landing Pizza Hut in Plano in '95." The story shows a photo of him on a fishing trip in Alaska, with a small plane in the background.

John and Mary Titus were also on the plane, according to WFAA. Mary Titus was mixed league director at the Tennis Competitors of Dallas, who sent out an email on the crash to its membership.

Crew members included Howard Hale Cassady, 71, a resident of Fort Worth and a pilot with extensive flight experience; and co-pilot Matthew Palmer, 28.

The plane crashed into a hangar at Addison Airport right after it took off at 9:11 am on June 30, and burst into flames. No one was inside the hangar, but everyone on the plane died. The plane was headed for St. Petersburg, Florida, where members of the Ellard family had a home.

At a news conference on July 1, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board said that it was a "personal" flight, not a chartered flight. The plane was a Beechcraft BE-350 King Air and was only two years old.

It was previously owned by Chicago charter company Planemasters, who sold it in April to a company named EE Operations LLC.

The NTSB said that a cockpit voice recorder was recovered and is being downloaded in Washington, D.C. Simultaneously, the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating records regarding the plane's maintenance history, pilot background, and training.