Reminisce: Childhood buddy of Bill Phillips looks back on his life

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NORTH OLMSTED, OH (WOIO) - Grim new details are emerging in the Alaska plane crash that killed former Senator Ted Stevens.

The crash killed five people including Bill Phillips, a 1972 graduate of North Olmsted High School.

When news broke that former Senator Ted Stevens and four others died in the crash, Ray Metsch of North Olmsted wondered aloud about an old friend.

"And I hollered hey, Ted Stevens died in a plane crash. Gee I wonder if Bill was with him."

Bill Phillips, who grew up in North Olmsted, was Senator Stevens former Chief of Staff. After graduation Phillips went away to college, but never forgot his North Olmsted roots.

"By golly, when he came home from college, he was a North Olmsted garbage man. He worked on the garbage truck."

Metsch stayed in contact with Phillips after he started working for Senator Stevens, says he even visiting him in Washington.

"He took me on the senate floor. Opened Kennedy's desk and showed me where John Kennedy had put his name in the desk."

Metsch says Phillips loved to fish. The two even went to Alaska together and he remembers flying in the same type of amphibious plane that crashed.

"I was in the front with the pilot."

Metsch alos says Bill Phillips had great integrity.

Bad weather kept medics from reaching the crash site for about 12 hours.

The plane went down about 325 miles from Anchorage.

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