Lincoln man killed in plane crash tried to ‘make anyone and everyone around him happy’

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Nebraska State Patrol says the two men killed in a plane crash near North Platte on Wednesday were from Lincoln.

Authorities identified them as 41-year-old Adam Helmerichs and 22-year-old Zachary Clausen. 

Helmerichs was the president of Diamond Concrete Cutting Inc.  His company was key to the removal of a historic mural at the Pershing Auditorium in Lincoln.

Claussen owned an excavation company.

His girlfriend, Mikala Pelzer, shared some memories with Channel 8.

“Zach was such a hard worker and was extremely determined to make anyone and everyone around him happy no matter what,” Pelzer said.  “He loved to be around his daughter, who lit up his world.”

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Clausen was an athlete at Lincoln East before he graduated in 2019.

Greg Nelson, one of his former coaches, remembers him as a fierce competitor. 

“He would always try to lift more than someone or run faster than someone or get harder than someone,” Nelson said. “You never had to worry about him being able to turn it off on Friday night since he always brought his best.”

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