East Texas Native Dies In Plane Crash Patrolling Our Border - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/26/07-Henderson

East Texas Native Dies In Plane Crash Patrolling Our Border

An East Texas native, piloting a border patrol plane, is killed in a plane crash and investigators are still trying to determine what happened.   The Cessna 182 went down on the Sante Fe Ranch just north of San Manuel. Clint Thrasher, 32, of Henderson was the border agent piloting the plane and killed in that crash.   His parents, who live in Henderson say he was always meant to be a pilot.  

Flying wasn't just Clint Thrasher's passion, it was in his blood and that's why Jane and Buck Thrasher say he wanted to be a pilot ever since they can remember. 

"It was just in his system, I guess from birth, I don't know where it came from, but it was just in him," says Jane, his mother.

But he also wanted to go into law enforcement so when he joined border patrol and got the chance to fly in the Customs and Immigration Department it seemed like the perfect job.  

"He told me several times he wouldn't trade jobs with anybody in the world. He loved what he was doing and he went at it with all his ability," says Buck, his father.

And they say he worked hard at being a pilot and defending our nation's borders.

"They told us that he was one of the best pilots they had. That's why nobody can understand what has happened, why the plane went down," Jane adds.

But as good a pilot he was, his parents say he was an even better father, leaving behind two young girls, ages seven and 19 months.

"He just wanted to watch them grow up...I'm going to miss seeing him walk them down the aisle," she says.

He was a family man to the core. Even at the age 11 he took care of his younger brother when he was accidentally shot by a hunter, resulting in permanent brain damage.  

"Clint reminded me of a boy scout. He was trustworthy, loyal, obedient, brave, clean, reverent, all the things that a boy scout is and I couldn't have asked for a better son," Buck says.

It's a tragic story of parent's who've lost a son, daughters -- a father, and the state of Texas -- a hero.

A memorial service for Clint Thrasher is set for Friday night in McAllen.  Funeral services in Henderson are pending.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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