Raley’s chief financial officer, Ken Mueller, along with the company’s chief pilot, Richard Conte, were killed early Sunday when their plane crashed near Galt, California, according to local reports.
The two were the only passengers aboard the twin-engine plane that had taken off at 8:23 a.m. local time from Tracy Municipal Airport in Tracy, California, and flew for less than 20 minutes before crashing, according to The Sacramento Bee. The flight was not on official company business, a spokesperson for Raley’s told the publication.
A Raley’s spokesperson confirmed the news reports to Grocery Dive on Tuesday.
“Our organization is deeply saddened and heartbroken,” the company said in a statement. “At this time, we are focused on supporting their families, friends and our colleagues.”
Mueller joined Raley’s in 1997 and as CFO led financial planning functions across the company, according to his corporate profile page. He was named finance chief late last year of The Raley’s Companies, the umbrella entity formed when the California-based grocer completed its acquisition of Bashas’.
Conte had been Raley’s chief pilot for eight years, The Sacramento Bee reported.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash, according to local media reports.
This story has been updated with input from a Raley’s spokesperson.