The former mayor of a Northern Californian city who stepped down after he harshly criticized President Donald Trump and his supporters, died in a plane crash, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Dr. Bill Kirby, who was the mayor of Auburn, died in the crash Saturday morning near the Auburn Municipal Airport, officials have said.
Kirby, a urologist, was the pilot and a passenger in the plane suffered minor injuries and was transported to a hospital, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
He is survived by his son James Kirby, his daughter Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez, son-in-law Adam Gonzalez, and grandchildren Addison and Chloe Gonzalez.
A Facebook post from Sacramento political consultant Jeff Raimundo carried a statement from the Kirby family confirming he was the victim.
“Our family is devastated by this tragic news,” the statement by the family said. “Bill devoted decades of enthusiastic and loving support to his family, his patients and the Auburn community he loved so much. We will miss him immensely but take comfort in knowing he died while flying – one of the other loves of his life.”
Kirby, 72, had been a licensed pilot since at least 2009, according to public records cited by the Bee.
Kirby gained notoriety last week after social media posts criticizing Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and comparing the president’s supporters to KKK members.
He announced during a City Council meeting Monday that he was stepping aside from his post as mayor and was expected to be succeeded by Councilman Daniel Berlant, the Bee reported.