Public memorial for Illinois plane crash victims

Friends and family are remembering a father and son killed in a Pope County, Illinois plane crash. A public memorial was held Saturday at Cambria Apostolic Church in Williamson County.

Dozens gathered to say goodbye to 37-year-old Erich Snyder and his father 59-year-old Tommy Lee Snyder.

Reverend Robert Chitwood says their deaths have deeply impacted the community.  "We cannot get over a death, but we learn to live with it," Chitwood said.

Revered Chitwood officiated the ceremony.

Mark Caraway, a close friend, said a couple words during the memorial to the crowd. “This is an extreme honor to get up here and do this, definitely remember this forever,” Caraway said.

Chitwood said Erich and his dad were really close and did everything together from flying, to driving, gardening, fishing, and golfing.

“Their quantity of life was cut short, but the way I take it they had such quality,” Chitwood said.

Erich’s wife Michelle consoled others as people cried and shared stories like the time Caraway got a rope stuck in the motor of Erich’s brand-new jet boat.

“Erich comes running to the desk, ‘How does it run? Is it fast?’ I said, ‘It did’,” Caraway said.

Chitwood said Erich was well-known in the community. He had a chiropractic practice in Carterville, Illinois. He said he was a people person, both down to earth and professional.  “He was a friend to everybody, him and his dad alike, and they’ve done a lot together,” Chitwood said.

A golf scramble will be held in their honor to help Erich’s only child. The first annual Erich Snyder Memorial Golf Scramble will be held October 17th at Crab Orchard Golf Course in Carterville, IL.

There will be lunch at noon and tee off at 1 p.m. It’s $65 per golfer and $260 per team. Hole sponsors are between $50 and $100.

All sponsors and registrations can be sent to 108 N Division, Carterville, IL 62918. Donated prizes can also be dropped off at the Carterville City Hall.

All proceeds will benefit the Christian Snyder scholarship fund. For more info contact Mark at 618-218-5073

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