Cellino & Barnes attorney Steve Barnes dies in plane crash with his niece
Steve Barnes, an iconic New York attorney known for his personal injury law firm Cellino & Barnes, died in a plane crash near Buffalo, New York, on Friday night, his former law partner Ross Cellino confirmed. Barnes’ niece, Elizabeth Barnes, also died in the crash, and there were no survivors.
Ross Cellino confirmed the news through his attorney, Terrence Connors.
“Steve and I worked together for many years at our firm. He was always a fearless advocate for his clients,” Cellino said in a statement. “His passing is a significant loss for the legal community.”
Cellino went on to say that Barnes’ “greatest accomplishment” was his three children.
“All of us at Cellino and Barnes are deeply saddened,” Cellino said. “My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Barnes family during this difficult time.”
At a press briefing on Friday afternoon, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office said that the plane had been traveling to Buffalo from Manchester, New Hampshire, when it crashed into a wooded area in Pembroke. The last contact the plane had made was when it left at 11:18 a.m. The office said that it appears as though Barnes and his niece were the only two on board, but added they could not yet be certain.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return CBS News’ request for more information.
The plane was a Socata TBM 700 aircraft, according to police. The aircraft is a single-engine turboprop that can carry up to six passengers, according to the manufacturer’s website.
Cellino & Barnes was one of the country’s largest personal injury law firms, before the pair agreed to dissolve it earlier this year. The firm, which had developed a cult following over the years, was known for its catchy jingle and inspired several skits on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”