Laguna Niguel Man Is Crash's 7th County Victim

Times Staff Writer

An electronics executive from Laguna Niguel returning from a visit with his sister in Michigan has been identified as the seventh Orange County victim of the crash of the Northwest Airlines Flight 255 in Detroit.

Peter Joshua Frank, 25, a marketing manager with Calcon Electric Supply in Irvine, was one of the 155 people who have been identified as having died in the fiery crash a week ago Sunday. Frank was identified after his dental records were examined on Friday, officials said.

Frank flew to Detroit on Aug. 13 to spend a "long weekend" with his sister, Lori, according to Frank's roommate, Mike Daniels. Frank and his sister, a law student in Detroit, had not seen each other in several years, and Daniels said Frank was "very excited."

Frank and his sister spent the time getting reacquainted, going to a few parties, and on Sunday, the day he was scheduled to return to Orange County, they went sailing. Daniels said Frank called him from the Detroit airport to confirm his arrival at John Wayne Airport that night.

"He sounded in good spirits," said Daniels, who also works at Calcon.

The plane was scheduled to arrive in Orange County at 10:35 p.m.

But Daniels got a call from Frank's sister about 7 p.m.

"She said, 'Don't go to the airport, Frank's plane has crashed,' " Daniels remembered.

Clung to Hope

Unable to confirm through Northwest whether Frank was actually on Flight 255, Daniels clung to the hope that perhaps his friend had missed the flight. Several years ago on a business trip, Frank met former New York Yankees Manager Billy Martin in an airport cocktail lounge on the East Coast. The two started talking baseball and Frank missed his flight.

"I thought maybe, just maybe, he had pulled another Billy Martin on us," Daniels said.

It wasn't so.

Along with his girlfriend, Frank moved to Orange County in February from Miami to take the job with Calcon. He lived in an apartment in Mission Viejo, but when his girlfriend went back to Florida earlier this summer, Frank moved in with Daniels and Daniels' fiancee in Laguna Niguel.

Thomas Lambe, operations manager for Calcon, said Frank was "bright and energetic, somebody who was going places."

Raised in Boston Area

Frank was raised in Boston area and was a "big New England sports fan," Lambe said. When the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics met this spring in the NBA championship finals, Frank wore his silk, green Celtic jacket to the office.

"He definitely got some boos when he did that," Lambe said.

A funeral service for Frank has been scheduled for Monday afternoon in Hollywood, Fla., where his mother lives.

Besides the seven Orange County residents who were killed, there were four other people aboard Flight 255 who were bound for the county.

- Denise Best, 30, a technical services engineer for Avery Graphics in Detroit. She was going to Newport Beach to meet with Toyota officials to demonstrate new striping applications and decal designs. Whiteford Grimes, a division manager with Avery Graphics, said Bes, who was single, "loved to fly . . . and was particularly excited about this trip. She was at her best with clients on the firing line."

- Lowell Wormley, 49, a systems analyst for Doelz Networks Inc. in Mount Laurel, N.J. He was coming to Orange County to meet with executives at the Doelz's corporate offices in Irvine. The father of two, Wormley had been scheduled to catch an earlier flight out of Philadelphia, but he delayed his departure to finish planning a surprise 50th birthday party for his wife, Johanna, a family friend said. Because of changes in his travel plans, he had to catch a flight to Detroit and then connect onto Northwest Flight 255.

- Eric Mazade, 23, a project manager with Detroit's Maritz Communications Inc. He was flying to Orange County to organize a truck exhibition for Ford Motor Co. He became engaged to a co-worker only last month.

- J. Cathie Corona, 44, a nursery school teacher from St. Clair Shores, Mich. Airline officials confirmed she was booked on Flight 255 to Orange County, but it is not known why she was coming here. She was married and had three children.

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