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May 1, 2013

Louisville man among those killed in Afghanistan plane crash

Ex-wife. who resides in Jeffersonville, “devastated”

AFGHANISTAN — Louisville man among those killed in Afghanistan plane crash

Ex-wife. who resides in Jeffersonville, "devastated"

A Louisville man was among seven Americans killed Monday when their National Air Cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

Timothy Garrett, of Louisville, was a maintenance crewman on the Boeing 747 and his ex-wife Elena Garrett, of Jeffersonville, said he would have turned 52 on Saturday. They have two daughters together, ages 11 and 12.

“We’re all devastated,” Garrett said about his death. “We were still best friends. He’s the best father I’ve ever seen (and) ready to help anybody. He would give the shirt off his back for anybody.”

The other six victims in the plane crash were from Michigan, said Shirley Kaufman, National Air Cargo vice president.

One of those killed was Jamie Brokaw, 33, of Monroe, Mich., an experienced navigator. According to a close friend Chris Connerton, Brokaw was no stranger to dangerous flying situations and had the skills to stay cool in the face of danger.

The Dubai-bound Boeing 747-400  — operated by National Air Cargo — crashed just after takeoff Monday from Bagram Air Base around 11:20 a.m. local time, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement Tuesday.

The accident site is within the perimeter of Bagram Air Base.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for downing the plane, but NATO said the claims were false and there was no sign of insurgent activity in the area at the time of the crash.

The NTSB said it will lead a team of three investigators to assist the Afghanistan Ministry of Transportation and Commercial Aviation in investigating the crash. But a ministry spokesman, Nangoialy Qalatwal, said Tuesday the ministry is not involved with the investigation because it occurred at a military and not a civilian airport.

Kaufman said the plane — owned by National Airlines, an Orlando, Fla.-based subsidiary of National Air Cargo — was carrying vehicles and other cargo.

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