Baptist univ. research director, family, perish in Va. plane crash

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The director of Belmont University's institutional research department and four members of his family were killed April 21 when his private plane crashed in Virginia.

William McCulley, 35, his wife, two children and father-in-law were en route from Nashville, Tenn., to Roanoke, Va., when the single engine Mooney 20G aircraft disappeared from radar late Friday morning.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, but Virginia state troopers said there were indications the plane was flying too low. The National Transportation Safety Board will handle the crash investigation.

McCulley had been the director of institutional research at Belmont since October 1999. He came to Belmont from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

"Bill was a remarkable, fun-loving person. His devotion to his family and family life always impressed me," said Steve Lasley, vice president of finance and operations. "He also loved Belmont greatly and was so thrilled to be a part of our community."

On board the plane with McCulley were Cynthia Walden McCulley, 32; their two children, William Ryan McCulley, 4, and Megan Kendra McCulley, 20 months; and Ira Brown Walden, 65, father of Cynthia McCulley.

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