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Local hockey player killed in Sedona plane crash

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Local hockey player killed in Sedona plane crash

By Rikki Mitchell. CREATED Jul 24, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Thursday night means hockey at the Tucson Indoor Sports Center, but this week, one number was missing.

"It's kind of somber," said Antonio Martinez who played on Levi Wallace's team here in Tucson.

Wallace, 23, was one of four killed in a single-engine plane crash Sunday near Sedona, Ariz., according to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. Also killed were the pilot Jonathan McGeary, 22, Johanna Naber, 18 and Sabrina Giebelen, 19.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor tells KGUN9 the Cessna 182 was heading from Flagstaff, Ariz. to Sedona, Ariz. when it crashed into the side of the Mogollon Rim.

A family friend confirmed to KGUN9 that Wallace grew up in Prescott, Ariz. but had recently moved to Tucson.

Even though Wallace started playing hockey at the Tucson Indoor Sports Center just six months ago, Martinez says he left a lasting impression.

"He was just a really happy guy," said Martinez. "He showed up with a smile, left with a smile whether we won or lost, whether he played well or not. He was just happy to be out here."

It wasn't just Wallace's positive attitude that his teammates noticed, it was also his impressive hockey skills.

"The first game he played, it was a tie game at the end of regulation he was one of the people in the shootout," said Dustin Toone, general manager of the Tucson Indoor Sports Center. "And that very first time, he was a good player and everybody knew it."

His coach in Prescott, Ariz. said family and friends there held a memorial service for him Thursday, on the day he should have been here in Tucson, playing hockey with his team.

"He just always had a positive outlook on life," said Martinez. "One thing I would take from him is to try and live your life like that. He was just a very positive, happy person."

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The Tucson hockey community is planning a tournament in Levi's name. One of his teammates also created a wristband with Levi's initials and jersey number. Those are for sale here, and 100 percent of the profits will go toward Levi's family.

Rikki Mitchell

Rikki Mitchell

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Rikki Mitchell is a proud University of Arizona grad and joined the KGUN9 team after graduation. Rikki reports as a video journalist for the evening and weekend newscasts.