Phillip Pines, former president & COO of Great Dane Limited Partnership, died in a plane crash near Racine, WI, Monday night, the company announced.
Pines started his career in 1958 working with his father, Leo Pines, at their Monon Trailer dealership. The duo eventually founded Pines Trailer Corp. in 1965, operating it as a family owned business for more 25 years before forming a partnership with the Crown family in 1988. In January 1997, that partnership acquired Great Dane Trailers and Pines assumed the role of president & COO.
He retired at the end of 2010.
“Phill’s contributions to the success of Great Dane were many, including his unrelenting focus and drive to grow the company and solidify its preeminent position in our industry,” said William “Bill” Crown, president & CEO of Great Dane Limited Partnership. “He left an indelible mark on our company, successfully ingraining into the organization a culture of strength and excellence. I speak for our board of directors and employees in saying we are deeply saddened by his passing. Phill will be truly missed, and our deepest sympathies go out to his wife, Joan, and the Pines family.”
According to Caldeonia Patch, Pines was returning to the Waukegan, IL, airport when his plane began having trouble maintaining altitude. After trying to turn back to nearby Batten Airport, the plane went down in a farmer’s field.
According the Patch site, Mount Pleasant police praised Pines for steering the plane into the field and away from population centers.
“Mr. Pines acted in a heroic manner by attempting to land the plane in an area that was open and avoided several populated subdivisions not far from where the crash occurred,” a press release said.