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Mississippi man headed for new job in Bemidji dies in Leech Lake plane crash

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Thomas Borum, a Mississippi veterinarian and pilot, was killed Tuesday night after his Piper PA 28 airplane crashed in Leech Lake near Walker. He was on his way to Bemidji to begin a new job. Photo courtesy of the Natchez Democrat.

WALKER -- A Mississippi veterinarian and pilot was killed Tuesday night after his Piper PA 28 airplane crashed in Leech Lake near Walker. His body was discovered Wednesday morning after a search was conducted through the night.

According to an article from the Natchez Democrat newspaper in Mississippi , Thomas Borum, 62, left Natchez, Miss., on Tuesday morning, en route to Bemidji.

Borum was to begin a new job as a veterinarian at Bemidji Veterinary Hospital’s satellite location in Roseau, Minn.

“We have heavy hearts, because the world lost a good person,” Andrew Piller, veterinarian and owner of Bemidji Veterinary Hospital, said to the Pioneer on Thursday. “He was an accomplished veterinarian and police officer. He was a very kind, respectful person who seemed to have dedicated his life to helping the people around him.”

Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board , the agency investigating the accident, said a report detailing the circumstances and facts surrounding the case will be available in a couple of weeks.

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“The pilot departed Kirksville, Mo. en route to Bemidji,” Knudson said. “The pilot asked to divert to St. Cloud. The plane diverted to St. Cloud (and landed) and was there for about an hour, then he at some point crashed near Leech Lake and the wreckage was discovered the following morning.”

Hannah Olson is a multimedia reporter for the Pioneer covering education, Indigenous-centric stories and features.
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