Chicago Man Dies in Jet Crash

Wojciech Seweryn among several high-ranking Polish victims

By Marcus Riley
|  Saturday, Apr 10, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 PM CDT
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The family of an artist killed along with high-ranking Polish government officials talks about their loss.

Rich Wineinger

The family of an artist killed along with high-ranking Polish government officials talks about their loss.

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A Chicago native was among several high-ranking Polish officials, including the president of that country, who were killed in a plane crash Saturday in western Russia.

Wojciech M. Seweryn, a 70-year-old artist, was killed in the crash that took the lives of 97 people, Chicago's Polish Consul General Zygmunt Matynia told NBC 5.

The plane crashed while navigating through heavy fog at 2 a.m. CT, killing Polish President Lech Kaczynski and some of the country's highest military and civilian leaders.

The group was headed to an event marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police.

Seweryn, whose father was killed in the massacre, was actively involved in a movement to create a monument in Niles, Matynia says.

Wojtowicz's daughter, Anna, said she last spoke to her father Friday night, hours before he boarded the flight.

"He said this was the best trip he ever had," she said.

President Kaczynski was planning to visit Chicago on May 1st to commemorate Polish Constitution Day, according to Matynia.

People can pay respects to the victims at the Chicago Polish Consulate (1530 N. Lake Shore Dr) by signing a book.

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