Full recovery expected for Richmond CEO in July 4 plane crash

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Midlothian father remains in the hospital in stable condition after the small plane he piloted crashed in Buckingham County on the afternoon of July 4.

State police identified the pilot who crash-landed in a cornfield as Justin Knight, President and Chief Executive Officer of Apple Hospitality, a Richmond-based hotel real estate firm.

Knight was flown to the University of Virginia hospital in critical condition.

His 11-year-old son was on board the plane when investigators said the private aircraft stalled out. The boy was treated for minor injuries at the crash site.

Knight, according to company representatives, sustained serious, non-life-threatening injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.

The company released a statement Wednesday afternoon:

“We greatly appreciate the concern for Justin’s well-being and the outpouring of support following yesterday’s accident,” said Glade Knight, Justin’s father and Executive Chairman of Apple Hospitality. “We feel very fortunate that the injuries he sustained were not more serious and we look forward to his full recovery.”

During Knight’s treatment and recovery, Krissy Gathright, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and Bryan Peery, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will share in the responsibilities and oversight of Apple Hospitality’s day-to-day activities.

The day before another pilot crashed their Piper PA-15 in a field near Farmville, and suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. Police said that the craft ran out of fuel while in the air and was forced to make a crash landing.

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