AP source: Prominent NY attorney killed in small plane crash
Personal injury attorney Steve Barnes, whose law firm Cellino & Barnes was known on two coasts for its catchy TV jingle, was killed Friday in a small plane crash in western New York.
Barnes, a registered pilot, died along with one other occupant of the plane, a person connected to the firm told The Associated Press.
The single-engine Socata TBM-700 crashed at about 11:45 a.m. in a wooded area near Pembroke, New York, authorities said, as it neared the end of a flight from Manchester, New Hampshire.
The plane was registered to a corporation that shares an address with Cellino & Barnes, records showed. The person connected to the firm was not authorized to identify the victims and spoke with The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron told reporters there were no survivors in the crash. He said a man and a woman were killed but did not identify the victims.
Neighbors described the plane making a loud, whining noise, then dropping into a wooded area, Sheron said.
Cellino & Barnes began as small firm in Buffalo but became well known in New York City and beyond for its ubiquitous advertising on billboards and on television.
Its old-time jingle, in which the law firm's phone number was put to song, has been the subject of a sketch on Saturday Night Live, and other late-night TV host jokes for years. Broadway actors in 2018 posted viral videos of themselves singing the jingle in what was dubbed the “Cellino & Barnes Challenge.”
The firm declined to comment.
The law firm's principal lawyers, Barnes and his partner Ross Cellino, appeared together in the advertisements, but had a falling out in recent years and battled each other in court.
Cellino did not immediately comment on the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the cause of the crash. NTSB spokesman Terry Williams said the agency would release its initial report within seven to 10 days.