ANCHORAGE, Alaska—For over two decades, Ted Smith served and protected residents with the Anchorage Police Department.
On Tuesday morning, the Alaska Air National Guard found the wreckage of a small plane that killed three people near the 4,000-foot level of Rainy Pass. Alaska State Troopers identified 59-year-old Smith as the pilot of the deadly flight, along with mother and daughter passengers 48-year-old Carolyn Sorvoja and 10-year-old Rosemarie Sorvoja.
"Those that knew Ted, knew there were three things dear to his heart: his family, of course, weapons, and aviation,” said Paul Honeman, Assembly Member and former APD officer.
Smith was also an Army veteran and was a key member of the APD swat team and helped teach gun safety at the Anchorage civilian police academy.
Ted and his brother Steve, who is the current APD Deputy Chief, worked alongside each other and former APD Chief Walt Monegan.
"They both had the same personalities," said Monegan, who served as APD Chief from 2001 to 2006. "Both were lead fire arms instructors and they were a great team. They played against each other's strengths and weaknesses a lot."
As of now, many questions surround the cause of the deadly plane crash, but one thing is for certain, Ted Smith touched many lives throughout the Anchorage community.
“Ted was just a big hearted guy,” said Honeman. “He was just like a big teddy bear.”
Contact Garrett Turner: