Orleans chief coroner assisting at Corfu airplane crash site

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 October 2020 at 9:40 am

CORFU – Scott Schmidt, Orleans County’s chief coroner, is among a group trying to recover the remains of two people who died Friday in an airplane crash in Corfu.

Schmidt is assisting the Genesee County Coroner’s Office in what Jeff McIntire, Genesee’s chief coroner, said will be a long process. So far, no remains have been recovered, McIntire said in a message to the media.

“I am unsure as to how long this will take, as the plane buried itself fairly deep in mud,” McIntire said.

The crash killed well known Buffalo attorney Steve Barnes of the Cellino & Barnes law firm and his niece Elizabeth Barnes, who was also an attorney.

The plane crashed in a wooded area near Route 33 and Boyce Road in Corfu. The Genesee County Coroner’s Office arrived on scene Friday at 2 p.m. along with an aircraft recovery and salvage company contracted by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Genesee has three coroners at the scene as well as Schmidt from Orleans County, the Forensic Anthropologist from Wyoming County, and countless volunteers from the East Pembroke and Corfu Fire Departments, the Genesee County Emergency Management Office and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office at the crash site.

They are “working nonstop to attempt to recover the remains, get them positively identified with the help of the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office, and finally returned to their families,” McIntire said.

“My thoughts and prayers go to the Barnes family during this tragic time,” McIntire said.

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