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Former Great Dane Executive Phillip Pines Dies in Plane Crash

9/6/2011 5:00:00 PM
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Phillip Pines, former president and chief operating officer at trailer manufacturer Great Dane, died Sept. 5 in a plane crash near Racine, Wis. He was 76.

While piloting a single-engine plane, Pines reported fuel problems and attempted to make an emergency landing at the Batten International Airport in Racine, the Chicago Tribune reported. No one else was in the aircraft, the paper said.

As his plane went down, Pines avoided populated subdivisions before crashing in an open field Monday evening, the Tribune reported. Local police described his actions as “heroic,� the paper said.

Pines began his career in the trailer industry in 1958 working alongside his father, Leo Pines, at their Monon Trailer dealership, Great Dane said in a statement. He and his father began refurbishing used trailers and soon started their own company, Pines Trailer Corp., in 1965, Great Dane said.

Pines led his family-owned business, Pines Trailer Corp., for 25 years before forming a partnership with the Crown family in 1988, Great Dane said.

After the partnership acquired Great Dane Trailers in January 1997, Pines assumed the role of president and COO of Great Dane. He retired at the end of 2010.

In a statement, Great Dane CEO William “Bill� Crown said Pines had an “unrelenting focus and drive� to grow the company and solidify its position in the trailer industry.

“He left an indelible mark on our company, successfully ingraining into the organization a culture of strength and excellence,� Crown said. “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.�

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