Utah Co. deputy remembered as safe, meticulous pilot

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Those that knew Sgt. Jay Lessley best found news of his Friday crash hard to believe.

"I'm shocked because I didn't expect something like that to happen to Jay," said Lt. Dave Bennett, Utah County Sheriff's Office.

Bennett is a lieutenant over Utah County's aviation team. He said over the years he and Sgt. Lessley spent countless hours together in the air and on the ground.

"Jay is the kind of person, very meticulous. I always thought him to be very safe and make good decisions. He's very safety conscious and just a good pilot overall," Bennett said.

Sgt. Lessley was off duty flying an experimental plane near the Spanish Fork Airport Friday morning when he crashed. The FAA is looking into what may have caused the accident.

After flying for twenty years, Lt. Bennett has seen

The unexpected occur and lost pilots in the past, but news of Sgt. Lessley's death is still sinking in.

"It's something to be expected but it’s like going to work every day driving down the freeway, things happen. I didn't expect it to happen to Jay."

Lt. Bennett said the Lessley family is coping well. His 13-year-old daughter is already involved with civil air patrol and plans to continue enjoying the passion she shared with her father.