Micron CEO Steve Appleton dies in airplane crash

Micron CEO Steve Appleton dies in airplane crash »Play Video
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Micron CEO Steve Appleton has died in a small airplane crash at the Boise Airport.

Airport officials say the plane was described as an experimental fixed wing single engine Lancair. The plane went down at about 8:58 a.m.

Here's the full news release issued by the Micron Board of Directors:

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Appleton, Micron Chairman and CEO, passed away this morning in a small plane accident in Boise. He was 51.

Our hearts go out to his wife, Dalynn, his children and his family during this tragic time.

Steve's passion and energy left an indelible mark on Micron, the Idaho community and the technology industry at large." | Timeline: Steve Appleton as Micron CEO >>>

At a press conference Friday afternoon, a NTSB investigator said witnesses reportedly saw the plane climb between 100-200 feet, make a sharp maneuver, stall and then roll into the ground. (Listen to audio between air-traffic control and Appleton to the left. Courtesy LiveATC.net)

Appleton's wallet as well as some personal belongings were found in the wreckage.

Appleton was well known for his love of high high adventure sports and hobbies and even became an off-road champion in 2006 when he won his race in the Baja 1,000.

But for Appleton, Friday's airplane crash wasn't his first.

In 2004, Appleton crashed a plane in an open field south of Boise along Thompson Road near Pleasant Valley. He and a passenger walked away from the scene with just bumps and bruises.

The NTSB later reported that Appleton was flying too close to the ground. Appleton later told investigators that he didn't remember being concerned about flying too low.

Micron used to be the largest private employer in the state and at one time had about 10,000 employees. It now trails St. Luke's Hospital System and Wal-Mart. The company now has between 5,000-5,500 employees.

As news of Micron CEO Steve Appleton spreads across the technology world and here in Idaho, members of Idaho's congressional delegation as well as business leaders are reacting to the CEO's death.

Mark Durcan, Micron president and chief operating officer, will assume the responsibilities of CEO until a successor is appointed by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will convene a meeting over the weekend.


Stay tuned for updates on this Breaking News