The angling world is mourning today after a popular television host was lost over the Easter weekend.
“Spanish Fly” host Jose Wejebe was killed Friday afternoon when his Comp Air 8 airplane crashed off an airstrip near Everglades City, Florida.
Wejebe, 54, created and hosted Spanish Fly throughout its run on ESPN and was currently hosting the show on Outdoor Channel. The Cuban-born Wejebe came to the United States after the Castro revolution and worked his way up from a fishing guide to his television hosting position which began in 1995 on ESPN-2. He also hosted a second show, Vida del Mar, on ESPN in 2001.
In addition to Spanish Fly on Outdoor Channel, Wejebe recently had a special on National Geographic Wild and had recently filmed a father-daughter fishing show with his only child, Kristin Wejebe, 28.
In a statement released after news of the accident, Tom Hornish, CEO and president of Outdoor Channel Holdings said the channel was “deeply saddened” at learning of Wejebe’s passing.
“He was a great sportsman who thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors as well as a sincere, caring individual. We, along with his fans, will miss him greatly,” Hornish said.
At this time, no word on what may have caused the accident, although witnesses to the crash say the plane may have been struck by a sudden cross wind. One witness told a local news station that the plane popped up and then went straight into the ground.
An NTSB investigator is on the scene of the crash and looking at three factors: man, machine and environment, in an attempt to determine the cause of the crash. The aircraft manufacturer is also reported on-scene to assist in the investigation.