Former Clinton Official Dies After Jet Turbulence Incident
Former Clinton Official Dies After Jet Turbulence Incident

By Bill Pan

The passenger who died after a severe jet turbulence incident in the skies above New England last week was a prominent lawyer who served on both the Clinton and Obama administrations, according to authorities.

The Connecticut State Troopers, one of the agencies investigating the March. 3 incident, on Monday named the deceased woman as 55-year-old Dana J. Hyde. She was one of five onboard the private jet, which made an emergency landing at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut after it hit heavy turbulence.

The jet was traveling from Keene, New Hampshire, to Leesburg, Virginia, before diverting to Bradley, The Boston Globe reported. Connecticut State Troopers responded to the medical assist call and rushed Hyde to Saint Francis Medical Center in Hartford, where she was pronounced dead.

None of other people onboard, including Hyde’s husband and son and two crew members, have reported any injury.

“Our agency is assisting as needed; however, the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) and the FBI are investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident,” the state troopers said in a statement. The federal agencies are expected to examine information from the flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder and other sources of information like weather data.

“A preliminary report will be available in 2-3 weeks,” the NTSB said on Twitter.

According to an online biography, Hyde served eight years in the Obama administration, as the chief executive of the state-funded foreign aid agency Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), associate director at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and senior adviser to the deputy secretary of state. She was also an adviser to the Sept. 11 Commission and a special assistant to the deputy attorney general under the Clinton administration.

Hyde also worked with the Aspen Institute, a think tank known for hosting seminars and training sessions for business, political, and media elites at its upscale mountain campus located in Aspen, Colorado.

“During her time with us, Dana was a brilliant and generous colleague who worked closely with programs across the organization to build partnerships and enhance our collective work,” the institute said in a statement to the Globe. “The thoughts of our entire Aspen Institute community are with Dana’s family and loved ones.”

The jet involved in the incident was a Bombardier Challenger 300. The state troopers have confirmed the aircraft belongs to a Missouri-based company headed by Hyde’s spouse, Jonathan Chambers.

The company, Conexon, describes itself as a fiber internet provider for rural communities that lack reliable high-speed internet access. On Monday, after the incident, Chambers sent an email to Conexon employees and clients regarding the situation.

“We were returning home when the plane suddenly convulsed in a manner that violently threw the three of us,” he wrote. “My wife was badly injured. The pilots made an emergency landing. An ambulance was waiting. Dana was taken to a hospital, but the injuries were too severe and she died that night.”

“Dana was the best person I ever knew. She was a wonderful mother to our boys and she was accomplished professionally. She loved and was beloved.”

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