In memory of Ethan Smith, 20-year-old Rochester victim in plane crash

(ABC 6 News) – Ethan Smith, the 20-year-old Rochester man who tragically died in a plane crash on Tues. is remembered by loved ones.

Ethan was a 2020 graduate of Lourdes High School in Rochester. A current student at Rochester Community and Technical College, Ethan was working towards his commercial pilot’s license. He was flying 1-3 times a day.

Many of his friends are still in shock over what happened.

Related: UPDATE: Lourdes graduate, flight instructor killed in plane crash near Red Wing

“I woke up I had a text from my dad and he’s like ‘hey there’s a plane that crashed, left Rochester. Check in on Ethan, see how he’s doing, see if he was in the plane,” said Jared Anderson, a close friend of Ethan.

Jared Anderson has been friends with Ethan for years. Meeting right before the high school hockey season, the two participated in many sports together, like track and field.

Jared says, Ethan was like a younger brother to him.

“He was goofy, he would always make you smile. Just the way he walked up to you, he’d make some comment and you’d just laugh. I don’t know, it’s just what you did,” Jared explained.

Many people in the community are grieving over the unexpected and tragic loss.

“I’ve checked on a lot of his friends here over the last couple days; they’re all hurting really bad as we all are,” said Joe Knoepke, Ethan’s high school hockey coach. “It’s hurt a lot for his parents. Those boys are all hurting and they’re really gonna miss him and it’s tough conversations to have.”

Friends of Ethan describe him as hardworking and caring, the type of friend that would put everyone else before himself.

“Everybody has just had nothing but such remarkable, positive things to say about this individual, which makes it such a tragic incident,” said Jeff True, the current boys Lourdes High School hockey coach.

“It’s just shock more than anything, I don’t really know what to say….I still don’t know what to say,” said Jared.

Ethan was described as being a tremendous athlete, and was beloved by many coaches.

His high school hockey jersey number his senior year was #16. Lourdes High School is hoping to retire his number, in memory of Ethan.

“His parents. That’s what I keep thinking about is his family his brother, how bad they’re hurting and I just cant say sorry enough,” said Knoepke.

Friday night at the Lourdes High School football game at RCTC at 7 p.m. there will be a moment of silence to remember Ethan and recognize this time of grieving in the community.

John Zeman, a 28-year-old flight instructor, also died in the crash.