May 25, 2018

Real Estate Lawyer Killed in Plane Crash

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Real Estate Lawyer Killed in Plane Crash

Oliver E. Frascona—an influential real estate lawyer, educator, and former columnist for REALTOR® Magazine—was killed in a plane crash in which his girlfriend Tori Rains-Wedan and her three children also died over the holiday weekend.

According to police and air safety investigators, Frascona, 67, appeared to be attempting to land the single-engine Piper PA-46 at the Erie Municipal Airport in Colorado when it crashed. A family dog was also killed in the accident. Reportedly, the landing gear remained stowed. One neighbor expressed surprise, noting that Frascona was "a very accomplished pilot."

Frascona was a contributor to REALTOR® Magazine between 2001 and 2008. He wrote on a range of legal topics including brokerage law, agency, and fair housing concerns. In his practice, he specialized in contracts, finance, land use, leasing, real estate title, business law, association law, and litigation. Maine real estate broker and former NAR President Sharon Millett noted that Frascona was instrumental during the discussions about buyer agency in the early 1990s.

"He always challenged us to think about the consequences of every decision," Millett said. "His passing is a real loss to the industry."

Frascona's sudden departure is a tremendous loss to many in the Colorado real estate community—and beyond.

"He was a member of the REALTOR® association attorney community for as long as I can remember," said NAR Associate General Counsel Ralph Holmen. "He was quite engaged in and passionate about the legal issues facing REALTOR® associations, as well as real estate professionals. Mostly what comes to mind when I think of Oliver, however, is his graciousness and kindness to his fellow attorneys, members of our staff, and me personally."

As an educator, Frascona was also generous with his time, said Marcie Roggow, a fellow instructor and chair of professional development for the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB). "This is the man who brought me through agency and made me the instructor I am today on risk management issues. And he was a dear friend. There is a huge void in my heart." 

In a Facebook post, Chris Mygatt, president of Coldwell Banker Residential of Colorado wrote: “To say that this is a tragic loss and horrible waste is an understatement. He was never too busy (and he was one BUSY guy) to answer a question or offer his advice. He had a unique way of letting everyone he touched feel like they mattered.”

Source: "Erie plane crash victims identified as attorney Oliver Frascona, Tori Rains-Wedan and her 3 children," ABC 7News Denver (Sept. 1, 2014)