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Family of plane crash victim mourning loss of son

LANCASTER, NY - The Metz family is mourning the loss of their 14-year old son James. His parents want people to know their son was "amazing and compassionate."

"We have amazing memories, he was funny and happy," James' mother Suzanne said.

James was killed on Saturday while participating in a free flight program at the Lancaster Regional Airport. "We were invited to do it," said Suzanne. "Donovan (James' younger brother) did his flight successfully came back, said it was amazing and said that James looked happy when he left."

The boys mother was nearby at the high school participating in a mandatory course for parents of students who participate in extra-curricular activities. She was shown an alert on a phone and rushed to the scene.

Lancaster Schools mourning student lost in plane crash

LANCASTER, NY - The superintendent of Lancaster schools met with the family of 14-year old James Metz on Monday afternoon. Michael Vallely says the family wanted him to tell the public that James was looking forward to having a great high school experience.

In fact, last Friday night he was showing his school spirit when he attended the Lancaster high school football game. Metz joined the varsity swim team last year as an eighth grade student. He was also a member of the wind ensemble.

Vallely told reporters, "his parents wanted me to relay that James was an amazing great kid, he had compassion and a keen sense of humor."

The superintendent said the district is in mourning.

Metz's father is a co-owner of Beauty Pools in Lancaster. The flag outside of the business has been lowered out of respect for the young man.

Eyewitnesses to tragedy

LANCASTER, NY - You've heard from many witnesses during the past few days, all with their own stories of having to watch the horrific mid-air crash that happened over Town Line Road in the Town of Lancaster Saturday.

On Sunday, we met with
Patricia Farinacci and her brother Michael Long
who not only saw the collision but were first to arrive at the crash site. Inside the plane were Anthony Mercurio, 78, and James Metz, 14.

Two On Your Side's Danny Spewak has their story, and recollections from friends of the victims.

NTSB holds press conference on Alden-Lancaster plane crash

LOCKPORT, NY - We've reported that two small airplanes collided Saturday morning not far from the Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport.

On Sunday, the National Transportation Safety Board held a press conference to report on the preliminary steps in its investigation into the crash.

Officials released the names of the two victims who were killed, and the pilot who survived, and discussed the process that will be followed for determining what exactly caused the accident. They may not have a final answer for a year or more. NTSB investigator Brian Rayner, who expects to stay in the Buffalo area at least through Monday, said he will examine more physical evidence and radar technology before providing a report for the board.

The plane crashed a little before 10:30 a.m. in a wooded area just west of Town Line Road in the Town of Lancaster. The deceased are Anthony Mercurio, 78, and James Metz, 14.

Bryce Buchholz BMX Park opens in Lancaster

LANCASTER, NY – On Sunday, they took the wraps off the new BMX Bike and Skate Park, named for 14-year-old Bryce Buchholz. The teenager was struck and killed in May 2012 while riding his bike on Lake Avenue. He was an avid BMX rider.

More than $300,000 in community contributions was raised to pay for the new recreational facility, which is located in Keysa Park in the village.

Bill Buchholz, Bryce's dad, had this message:

Two dead after planes crash on Alden-Lancaster border

LANCASTER, NY - A 78-year-old pilot and his 14-year-old male passenger both died when their plane collided mid-air with another small airplane not far from the Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport Saturday morning.

The plane crashed a little before 10:30 a.m. in a wooded area just west of Town Line Road in the Town of Lancaster. The deceased are Anthony Mercurio, 78, and James Metz, 14.

Not far away, the second plane made a harrowing emergency landing in a field on Kieffer Road in the Town of Alden. That pilot -- Kevin D'Angelo, 59 -- and a nine-year-old girl who was flying with him were able to walk away from their plane with minor injuries. (Her name will not be released.)

Lancaster School community grieves for teen who died in plane crash

LANCASTER, NY – On Sunday, a letter from the superintendent of the Lancaster Central School District was posted to the district website addressing the death of a student "from a tragic accident." Although not specifically mentioned, the tragedy referred to in the letter is undoubtedly the death of a 14-year-old boy in Saturday's plane crash near the intersection of Town Line and Kieffer roads on the Lancaster-Alden border.

You can read the complete text of the letter below.

The victim's name had not been released by authorities at the time of this writing.