An Iowa native is one of the victims of last night’s commuter plane crash near Buffalo, New York. Forty-seven-year-old captain Marvin Renslow, a Shenandoah native, was the pilot of the plane and among 50 victims of Continental flight 3407 which crashed into a house in Clarence, New York.
Shenandoah High School activities director, Jeff Hiser, knew Marvin Renslow well. He says Renslow was a lifelong resident of Shenandoah until graduation in 1979. Hiser says Renslow’s mom Shirley and father Dean, who has died, used to babysit him and his brother and other children, and they remained closed ever since.
"You couldn’t ask for a better father, or brother, or friend in Marvin," Hiser says. Hiser says many people in Shenandoah know Renslow.
"It’s a shock to everybody, the few people I’ve spoken with, or the phone calls I’ve taken, they just can’t believe it," Hiser says, "you know we see these things on television, but it really hits home when you have grown up in the community and know that individual."
Hiser says Renslow was popular in school as Renslow was outgoing and involved in speech, music and drama, and "an excellent drummer." Hiser says Renslow worked at the local grocery store and they bowled together in a lot of tournaments. He says Renslow was the type of person that was always there if you needed something or somebody.
Reports say neither the air-traffic controller nor the pilot showed any concern when the plane was asked to maintain an altitude of 2,300 feet, then the plane went silent. After the crash, at least two pilots were heard saying they had been picking up ice on their wings. Hiser says Renslow was a skilled pilot.
"I’m sure that his number one priority, just knowing Marvin, was to just take of his passengers and do what he was trained to do for the best outcome possible," Hiser says. Hiser says the loss of his friend hasn’t really sunk in yet. Hiser says, "I know personally, I’ll miss Marvin, and a lot of other people will too." Marvin Renslow is survived by his wife Sandy and two children, one of whom will graduate this year from high school.