Clay Yarber, of Riverside, Calif., was one of 49 people aboard a commuter jet that crashed into a suburban Buffalo, New York, house.
The twin turboprop aircraft -- Continental Connection Flight 3407 from Newark, N.J. -- was coming in for a landing when it went down in light snow and fog around 10:20 p.m. Thursday about five miles short of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. A 50th person who was in the house died on the ground.
Yarber served in Vietnam, but never liked flying, said his ex-wife Shari Ingram, of Largo, Fla.
"He didn't even like being on helicopters when he was in the Marine Corps," Ingram said.
Yarber, 62, was originally from Dayton, Ohio, and became a musician after the war, Ingram said. He played the guitar and sang and had several bands. His favorite type of music was rhythm and blues.
He lived in the Tampa Bay area for several decades, but recently moved to Riverside, Calif., to live with his son, Ingram said.
He was headed to Buffalo spend time with a friend. Ingram said she spoke with a family friend that received confirmation from Continental Airlines that he was on the flight.
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Yarber had four biological children, three daughters and a son, as well as an adopted daughter. Neighbors in Riverside said the father-son duo were both musicians and often played their guitars on the balcony of their apartment.
The cause of the disaster was under investigation, but other pilots were overheard around the same time reporting a buildup of ice on their wings -- a hazard that has caused major crashes in the past.