Former Soccer Player Killed In Air Mishap

Feb. 16, 2005

MERIDIAN, Miss. - Former Gonzaga University men's soccer player Andy Bruno was killed in a plane crash last Saturday.

The pilot, 59-year-old George Twente, was also killed when the two-seat bi-wing aerobatic plane crashed and burst into flames around 3:30 p.m., near Mississippi 45 on Cotton Gin Road, said Clayton Cobler, Lauderdale County coroner.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department are investigating the cause of the crash. Maj. Ward Calhoun of the sheriff's department said. An FAA official examined the crash site Sunday.

Twente, who grew up in nearby Jackson, Miss., finished building the plane that crashed in 2001, his sister Marianne Allred said.

Bruno, a native of Walla Walla, Wash., played soccer for the Bulldogs in 1997 and '98 after transferring from the Community Colleges of Spokane. A defender, he helped the Bulldogs to a 14-4-0 overall mark and a 4-2-0 West Coast Conference mark as a junior defender in 1997, the Bulldogs tying for the regular-season crown. The following season the Bulldogs went 12-4-2 and again tied for first with a 5-1-0 conference record.

He started all 16 matches he played as a junior and all 18 matches as a senior.

Among Bruno's survivors are his wife of six years, Holly Turner Bruno who was a women's basketball player for the Bulldogs; daughters Alivia (born Feb. 1) and Madilynn; his parents, and three siblings.

A Navy lieutenant, Bruno was stationed at the Meridian Naval Air Station. Military services were held Wednesday morning. No other services have been announced.

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