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Woman killed in Arvada plane crash remembered as "bold, brave, loving"

Woman killed in Arvada plane crash remembered as "bold, brave, loving"
Woman killed in Arvada plane crash remembered as "bold, brave, loving" 02:09

One person has died after suffering injuries along with three others when a small plane crashed in a neighborhood in Arvada last week. The Jefferson County Coroner's Office confirmed the fatality on Monday morning.

The victim, identified by her family as Melissa Brinkmann, was a mother, daughter and sister who loved her friends and family deeply.

"We said goodbye to our beloved Melissa, our daughter, our big sister, our mom, our best friend, our partner, our hero," a statement from her family read, in part.

"Melissa was bold, brave, loving, and a fierce champion of those she loved - and she loved soundlessly," their statement continued. "To know Melissa was to be inspired by her. She elevated others and made this world a better place. We have been awe-struck and comforted by the countless messages, memories, and stories shared by the legions of people Melissa has impacted.  We will be forever grateful to the first responders, bystanders, and medical staff who came to her aid, fought for her, and eased her passage from this life."


The plane went down in the northwestern part of the Denver metro area on Friday, not far from the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport where it was planning to land. After the crash landing in front of a house, the plane caught on fire. All four of the people who were hurt were on the plane.

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating the cause of the crash. Neighbors who witnessed it go down near the intersection of Oberon Road and Carr Street said it looked like the aircraft was struggling in the air moments beforehand.

"Upon seeing it, I noticed that the airplane was too low, wings fluttering and I noticed that there were fumes coming off the back and it just looked wrong," one witness said. "I was wondering what on earth was going to happen to that plane."

Firefighters burned off fuel at the plane crash site in Arvada. CBS

Neighbors ran to the yard where the plane landed to help after it went down. The four people who were in the plane were rushed to the hospital shortly afterward.

Pieces of the plane that fell off after it hit the ground were taken to an NTSB laboratory located in Northern Colorado.

Brinkmann worked as managing director and account executive at Accenture and is being remembered as an active member of her community who sat on the boards of Junior Achievement and the American Heart Association.

"Melissa was an incredible leader at Accenture. She loved her family fiercely and was a cherished friend to many," a statement from the company read. "Those of us who had the privilege of knowing and working with Melissa will remember a kind soul and dedicated leader who was always willing to go the extra mile for anyone."

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