Stephen Barnes—of the well-known, recently dissolved personal injury firm Cellino & Barnes—has reportedly died in a plane accident in New York’s Genesee County.
A third source told the outlet that a female relative was also on Board with Barnes, and she passed away as well. However, law enforcement sources haven’t confirmed the passengers’ identities or if anyone died.
During a press conference on Friday, Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron said the plane was “pretty much disintegrated.” He added, “There’s not much left at all.”
The accident was first reported at 11:45 a.m. ET on Friday. The plane crashed in a wooded area about a mile off the road.
According to The Buffalo News, a plane registered to the same address as the Cellino & Barnes firm departed from Manchester, New Hampshire at 10:18 a.m. ET. The flight-tracking website FlightAware shows that the plane flew from Manchester to Genesee County, and that the flight ended far from its Buffalo Niagara International Airport destination. The plan was a Socata TBM 700 aircraft, a type of plane that is typically used for business.
Barnes was a founding partner of Cellino & Barnes, which broke up in June after a nasty, 3-year legal battle, with plans to divide the firm into two separate enterprises. Barnes and his former partner, Ross M. Cellino Jr. had worked together for almost 30 years and were alleged multimillionaires, according to court papers. Cellino & Barnes were known for their jingle “Don’t wait! Call 8!” and their toll-free phone number (800) 888-8888.