SUNDRE, Alta. - Hockey teams in Calgary say one of the victims of a deadly small plane crash in Alberta was once a part owner of the Calgary Hitmen hockey team.

Police say the three victims of the crash north of Calgary on Friday were all men from Alberta but RCMP haven't released their names yet.

On Saturday afternoon, the NHL's Calgary Flames and the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL issued a statement expressing their sadness at the loss of Charles Matson, 51.

"As a former owner of the Calgary Hitmen, Chuck was an important member of our hockey family and a respected individual in the Calgary community who played a key role in returning the Western Hockey League to our city," the teams said in a joint statement issued Saturday.

"The Calgary Flames and Calgary Hitmen would like to extend our condolences to Chuck's family.

The single-engine Cirrus SR-22 crashed by a grove of trees in a farm field near Sundre, northwest of Calgary. Witnesses say they saw the aircraft spiral downward and explode in a fireball.

Police say a 42-year-old from Edmonton and a 43-year-old from Spruce Grove, Alta. were also killed.

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

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